Built in 1352, the Assumption Church on Volotovo Field is one of Russia's oldest Orthodox cathedrals. Its original mural paintings, covering a total area of 350 square meters, were badly damaged during World War II.
Restoration works in the church were launched in 2001, as part of a Russo-German collaborative project endorsed by the culture ministers of the two countries. The German gas company Wintershall AG pledged to contribute 1,520,000 dollars for the project over a period of five years. The church reopened in a solemn ceremony on August 28, 2003.
Its frescoes are being restored to their original appearance from 1.7 million shattered fragments, in a workshop arranged on the former premises of a beer-brewing company (the site's renovation, too, was bankrolled by the German side). They are being pieced together on the basis of 19th-century tracings from St. Petersburg's Russian Museum and using techniques developed by the renowned restorers Alexandra and Valentin Grekovs. Computers are also involved in the process; they offer the most probable arrangements of scanned details.
The restoration of the Assumption Church's frescoes is to be completed by the year 2010.