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September 28, 2011

Could the Remains of Prince Yaroslav the Wise Be in Brooklyn?

September 25, 2011

Summary of a report by Airat Shevaliev of NTV: 1037 was considered to be the year Kievan Rus' main cathedral was founded. Recently, however, Ukrainian scientists discovered graffiti on church walls pointing to a much earlier history. Nadezhda Nikitenko from the Dept. of scientific-historal investigations of St. Sophia Cathedral reports: "I came to believe that while the Holy Prince Vladimir Svyatoslavich, Equal-to-the Apostles, founded the Cathedral, it was completed under his son, Yaroslav the Wise." The last 4 paragraphs of the transcribed report are paraphrased below:

Nadezhda Nikitenko:"There are 260 square meters of mosaics and 3,000 square meters of frescoes."

Literally in front of St. Sophia Cathedral is St. Michael's Monastery. It was blown up during the 1930s under Soviet rule and rebuilt anew only 15 years ago. The same fate befell St. Sophia. An ambitious government quarter was planned here. But, for various resons, there was no time then to come for Saint Sophia.

Also associated with Soviet times is a detective story of the monument's history. Recently, the museum staff opened the marble sarcophagus of Yaroslav the Wise. From the inside they retrieved a box containing the remains and three Soviet newspapers from 1964 - when the grave was last opened. When the skeleton was assembled, it proved to be that of a female -- possibly the prince's wife. An investigation revealed that, before the war, the remains of Yaroslav himself were removed from Kiev, taken abroad and are now in America.

Nadezhda Nikitenko: "We believe that the remains are in New York -- in Brooklyn, in Holy Trinity Church."

St. Sophia employees have been negotiating with the New York parish for over a year, but that, of course, is nothing compared with these walls' millennial history.