Medieval cross

In the 12th century, artisans in Kyiv cast a bronze cross enkolpion. It ended up buried in the ruins of the city after its destruction by the Mongols in 1240, and remained there for over 700 years.

It was rediscovered in an archeological dig in the 1970s, and was given as a gift to Patriarch Mstyslav, who in turn donated it to our museum collection.

This is by far the oldest item in our permanent collection, and is also one of the most important. It was loaned by us in 1997 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for display in the special exhibit "The Glory of Byzantium".