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15 Aug, 2007 13:17

First Danilovsky bell making its way home

The first bell from Moscow's Danilovsky monastery has been taken out of the belfry in Harvard University in preparation to ship it home. It has been replaced by an exact copy made in Russia.

Twenty old Russian bells have been ringing for more than seventy years over an American University, where they were relocated after the Soviet Revolution.

Now the unique ensemble is returning to Russia.

The first replica bell was specially made in Voronezh region in the south of Russia to mark the 100th anniversary of the Harvard Business School. It is made of copper and zinc and weighs a little over 2 tons. The original Danilovsky bell, which was set on top of Harvard library, rang one time before being dismantled to signify the beginning of the exchange process.

There are a total of 18 Danilovsky bells which have been located in Harvard for the last 75 years and they actually became a symbol of the university. The original bells were brought from Russia in the 1930s by wealthy US philanthropist Charles Crane, who bought them in the Soviet Union in the time of religious purges. The Danilovsky bells are actually one of the few sets of bells which survived the Stalinist era. The negotiations on returning the bells to Russia actually lasted two decades and now all the bells are to be sent back to Russia, which in turn will provide exact replicas of them to replace the original bells in Harvard.