The Remains of Andrei Rublev?

by Andrew Osborn in Moscow

More than 500 years after he is thought to have died, Russian experts believe they have found the remains of the inspirational medieval icon painter Andrei Rublev …

His distinctive and hauntingly beautiful work decorates the walls of the Cathedral of the Annunciation in the Kremlin and several other churches across Russia. His most famous work, the Old Testament Trinity, hangs in Moscow’s Tretyakov Art Gallery.

The fact that the “Rublev remains” are of a man who was around 50 years old when he died came as a surprise, since he was thought to have lived well into old age.

But historians say that his old age was a myth dreamt up by Soviet academics who were desperate to save religious relics and churches from demolition by an atheist Communist Party in the 1950s. The experts declared that he was born in 1360 so as to mark the 600th anniversary of his birth in 1960, an attempt to make it harder for Soviet politicians to sanction the destruction of world-recognised religious works of art.

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