Unique photos of sacred Athos presented in London

Photo exhibition Sacred Athos by Kostas Assimis opened at the representative office of Rossotrudnichestvo in London. The exhibition presents unique photographs depicting shrines, moments of festive divine services and everyday work of the monasteries, as well as nature, hermitages, cells and buildings of Athos monasteries. Kostas Assimis is one of the few photographers in the world who is allowed to shoot at Athos. For over thirty years he has been photographing monasteries and their inhabitants. Historical photographs from the late 19th and early 20th century, which convey the atmosphere of the life at St. Panteleimon Monastery during the last decades of the Russian Empire, became an introduction to the life of modern Athos.

Kostas told about the works presented at the exhibition, thus offering the glimpse of the Athos monastery, hidden from worldly life.
The exhibition opening was attended by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation Alexander Yakovenko, representative of Rossotrudnichestvo in the UK Anton Chesnokov, philanthropist Alexei Motlokhov, representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as the councillor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Mohammed Bakhtiar.

Holy Mount Athos is the centre of life and work of the photographer Kostas Assimis. Assimis visited the Holy Mountain for the first time in 1984. For many years, the photographer collected bits and pieces of Athonite history artifacts, including unique daguerreotypes, which were kept in an old photo lab at Saint Athos. It was he who took up the rescue and restoration of the invaluable old photo archive in the Russian St. Panteleimon monastery. Among the rarest photographs of the archive is the one depicting the face of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which miraculously appeared in tongues of flame during the distribution of bread to poor monks near the walls of the monastery.

The central and most significant part of the exposition consists of masterfully executed portraits of the Athos elders, monks and novices. Most of the photos were taken by the master in 1984–2016. All in all, in the thematic collection of Kostas Assimis dedicated to the monasteries of Athos includes about 300 photographs.

Exhibitions of photographs by Kostas Assimis were held in St. Petersburg, Pskov, Moscow, Serpukhov, Donetsk, and Kiev.


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