John Michael, a member of Kenai’s Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church, prepares to carry a damaged icon of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane from the church’s sanctuary on Monday, May 15 in Kenai. In the foreground stands the wooden cross that fell backward during the January 2016 Iniskin Earthquake, tearing the icon’s canvas. After planning and fundraising for the icon’s repair since mid-2016, the church shipped it to an art restorer on Monday.

Kenai Russian church sends icon for restoration

John Michael, a member of Kenai’s Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church, prepares to carry a damaged icon of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane from the church’s sanctuary on Monday, May 15 in Kenai. In the foreground stands the wooden cross that fell backward during the January 2016 Iniskin Earthquake, tearing the icon’s canvas. After planning and fundraising for the icon’s repair since mid-2016, the church shipped it to an art restorer on Monday.

Holy Assumption Congregation members John Michael and Dorothy Grey (who is also secretary of the nonprofit Russian Orthodox Sacred Sites in America) inspect the Gethsmane icon as it lays in the back of a truck on Monday, May 15 outside Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox church in Kenai. After leaving the church’s sanctuary, the icon’s next stop was a packaging store in Soldotna, where it was fitted into a custom box for shipment to an art conservator in Colorado. Grey estimated the cost to repair the icon at between $5,000 to $6,000, and said the precise cost would depend on the conservator’s appraisal. Grey said the group has raised about half of the expected cost — $2,885, according to the icon repair project’s crowdfunding webpage.

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