Old bells sold to USA can return to Russia

A delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church left for New York on Tuesday, December 2. It will hold talks on the return to Russia of 10 old bells of the Svyato-Danilov monastery /a residence of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexis II/. The bells have been kept at the Harvard University for more than 70 years.

"These bells are a shrine of Moscow's most ancient Svyato-Danilov monastery," Archimandrite Alexis, the head of the delegation, told RIA Novosti.

According to him, it is early to forecast anything, however, "if the bells return to Russia, it will be an inestimable good will gesture of the authorities of the Harvard University".

The Svyato-Danilov monastery had the most famous belfry in Moscow after the Kremlin. In 1930 the monastery was closed, its abbot and monks were shot and property was confiscated.

Remelting threatened the bells. However, American businessman Charles Crane bought the bells at the suggestion of Harvard professor Thomas Whittemore. The Soviet Government sold the old bells at the price of bronze, the material they were made of. In 1931 the bells were placed at the Harvard University.

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