Religious art exhibition in Iași highlights sacred bond between Moldavia and Ukraine

Aurelian Iftimiu | 19 April 2022
Religious art exhibition in Iași highlights sacred bond between Moldavia and Ukraine
Photography courtesy of Doxologia / Flavius Popa

An exhibition entitled “Portraits, icons and books for the soul: Moldovans in Ukraine, Ukrainians in Moldavia. Sacred art testimonies – 16th-19th centuries” was opened last week at the Metropolitan Museum in Iași.

At the event, Metropolitan Teofan of Moldavia and Bukovina stressed that there is “a kind of perichoresis, an intertwining of holiness” between the region of Moldavia and Ukraine. The metropolitan thought of the exhibition as “a tribute to Ukrainians in general and to Ukrainians under bombings in particular.”

“This exhibition is dedicated to them from a historical, political and ecclesiastical perspective because God has ordained that this part of Romania, Moldavia, is their neighbour. We can say that the ties between the inhabitants of Moldavia and the inhabitants of Ukraine today have been even more intense throughout history than they are now. We have a kind of perichoresis, an intertwining of holiness between our region and Ukraine. Three great saints, whom we venerate, came from today’s Ukraine: St. Paisius Velichkovsky, St. Onuphry of Sihastria Voronei, and St. Basil of Valea Marului.”

“On the other hand, three Moldovan saints rest with their bones awaiting the Resurrection in today’s territory of Ukraine: Saint Theodora of Sihla, Saint Peter Mogila and, of course, Saint Dositheus,” Metropolitan Teofan said on April 14.

The exhibition includes several categories of icons, liturgical objects, paintings and documentary materials, including old icons made in painting centres in Ukraine today (Kyiv, Lviv etc. ), old icons from the time when the Ruthenian area and Moldavia were closely connected, old icons made by Romanian (Moldovan) craftsmen from the 18th and 19th centuries, which take elements from the schools in Kyiv (Pechersk Lavra) or Lviv (Ruthenia), icons and liturgical objects from the Metropolitan Museum or from the parishes of the Archdiocese of Iași which are related to the Ukrainian area, documentary material, publications belonging to the “Dumitru Stăniloae” Library in Iasi which present the historical and artistic relationship between the two cultural spaces – Moldavia and Ukraine, paintings from the Metropolitan Palace, etc.

The exhibition is hosted at the “Sinaxar” Hall of the Metropolitan Museum in Iasi and can be visited free of charge from April 14 to August 14, 2022.

Photography courtesy of Doxologia / Flavius Popa

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