SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (7-12-11)
Russia celebrates today the 450th anniversary of the Russian Orthodox church, located in Moscow's Red Square, with the opening of an exhibition honouring the "holy fool" Basil the Blessed, to whom the iconic church is dedicated.
The exhibition opens today after a decade-long restoration of the cathedral that cost 390 million rubles (£8.7m).
"This cathedral is a shrine and a symbol of Russia," Deputy Culture Minister Andrey Busygin. "It's a miracle it survived at all."
Built from 1555-1561 by orders of Ivan the Terrible, St Basil's Cathedral suffered heavy damage during the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 and had been a target of Napoleon's a century earlier.
Saint Basil was an unorthodox saint infamous for his naked walks around Moscow in the bitter cold, shoplifting and for his open mockery of Ivan the Terrible, who feared Basil as 'a seer of people's hearts and minds'....