Biisk, September 26, 2011
Three very old, large broken crosses from the cupolas of a church were found three meters under water beneath the arch of a communal bridge, and brought to the surface by a team of lifeguards from the city of Biisk, in the Altai Mountains. A large rainbow shown in the sky over the river as the crosses were lifted up.
First to sight the crosses was the bridge guard, Alexander Neverov, who told the lifeguards that something was "glittering" on the river bottom. "We received orders to look at what was glittering, but we didn't think it would be such a find," relates lifeguard Maxim Zorin, who participated in the operation. "In the end, we retrieved three crosses: each has a steel band around the perimeter; they are metal, with wood inside."
Apparently, the crosses have lain on the bottom on the River Bii for many decades, but were not noticeable due to the river's depth. The river changed its course this year and has become shallower. "We can only guess how the crosses ended up in the river. We know from history that earlier there was a church not far from the communal bridge in Biisk, but it was destroyed in the 1930's," Maxim Zorin said.
The crosses were given to the Archbishop's podvorye in the Museum of the History of the Altai Religious Mission, at the Kazan Church, for study, in order to ascertain more exactly to which church they belonged. It is supposed that the crosses are from the cupolas of the Church of the Protection in Biisk, and if that is true, then five more should be found in the same area. Maxim Zorin, Vladimir Khomyakov, Dimitry Kardaev, and Yuri Smirnov worked on extricating the crosses, under the guidance of team leader Sergei Romanov, the diocesan website states.