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Monument to St. Cyril and St. Methodius opens near Moscow

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KOLOMNA (Moscow Region), May 23 (RIA Novosti) - A monument to brothers St. Cyril and St. Methodius, who brought literacy to the Slavs, was unveiled and consecrated in the city of Kolomna in the Moscow Region.

Speaking at the ceremony, Moscow Region Governor Boris Gromov said: "We are overjoyed at the celebrations of the Day of the Slavic Literature and Culture, especially now that we are unveiling a monument to the authors of the Slavic alphabet."

He said the creation of the alphabet and the development of the Russian language eventually "made Russia great and allowed it to play a key role in the world's culture."

Russian Minister of Culture and Mass Communications Alexander Sokolov said at the ceremony that Russia had several similar monuments, "each of which occupies the most honorable, meaningful and beautiful place in their respective cities."

"These monuments will be respected by generations to come," said the minister. "We have continued a tradition that was destroyed over the course of the 20th century," he added.

Metropolitan Yuvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna said that "the monument will become an integral part of the ancient city of Kolomna and will remind us of the day when the city was the center of celebrations devoted to the Slavic literature and culture."

The monument to the saints and brothers is made of bronze. They stand in front of an Orthodox cross. Methodius has a bible in his hands and Cyril holds a scroll with the Russian alphabet written in stylized, Slavic-like letters.

The monument stands on Cathedral Square between a school and a church.

The brothers were born in what is now Greece. Cyril devised the Slavic alphabet based on the Greek one, which originated from the Phoenician system of writing, thought to date back to around 1050 B.C.

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