Greek Diaspora organizations in Russia, managed to achieve the materialization of a debt, 50 years later, unveiling the funerary bust of benefactor and noble of the 19th century, Demetrios Benardakis, in his tomb, located in the historic cemetery at Alexander Nevsky Lavra, in St. Petersburg.
“Today we need another Bernardakis to serve as an example to our youth, but also modern businessmen, who neglect the need to offer for the common good”, stressed Russian State Duma member, and head of SAE 5th Region, Ivan Savvidis, whose institute funded the initiative on the discovery and burial of his remains.
The initial idea and coordination of the multiple year efforts belongs to Iordannis Kessidis, Chairman of the “D. Benardaki Greek – Russian Association”, who dedicated his life in salvaging the memory “of one of the wealthiest Russians of Greek origin, who did not tire of offering his fortune for the funding of significant state programs, and the construction of churches and numerous charity organizations”.
The unveiling ceremony was attended by representatives of Greek associations, throughout Russia, historic and cultural associations, and St. Petersburg local government representatives, the former head of which, and former Ambassador in Athens, Valentina Matvienko, had personally approved the location of the tomb and monument in one of the most prominent parts of the old Russian capital. Next to D. Bernardakis burial place, are the tombs of prominent artist, Arhip Kuinji and benefactor of the University of Athens, Ioannis Dompolis, two of the most eminent representatives of Greek Diaspora in Russia.
Source: ANA – MPA