Novo-Diveevo Cemetery Restoration

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Why is this project necessary?

Convent Staff reinstalling a monument after pouring a new foundation. Many foundations in the past were not poured by the convent and were not dug deep enough which results in tilted monuments that are at risk or have already fallen.

The Russian cemetery at the Novo-Diveevo Russian Orthodox Convent in Nanuet, New York, is the largest Russian necropolis in America, with over 8,000 graves. This cemetery can unquestionably be considered an “open-air museum” of Russian history and Russian emigration. Prominent historical figures, representatives of the most ancient noble families, poets, artists, and scientists are all buried here. Officers of the White Army, midshipmen, sailors, and Cossacks all found their last resting place here, far from their dearly beloved Motherland.

Close relatives of the last Russian reigning dynasty of the Romanovs, Princess Vera Konstantinovna and Prince George Konstantinovich Romanov; a descendant of the famous hero of the Patriotic War of 1812, Prince Pyotr Bagration, Teimuraz Bagration; the youngest daughter of the writer Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy, Countess Alexandra Lvovna Tolstaya, founder of the Tolstoy Foundation, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the writer from his second son Ilya Lvovich Tolstoy; wife, daughter and grandson of General P.P. Wrangel… Novo-Diveevo is the final resting place for hundreds and hundreds of such names, eloquently calling out from centuries of bygone Russian history.

But time, remoteness from the historical homeland, the gradual departure of the old generation to another world, which left no heirs, and, finally, natural disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy, combine to cause irreparable damage to tombstones, resulting in neglect and abandonment.

To prevent this from happening and in order to preserve this historical place for our descendants, for our memory, the cemetery has determined the need to start a gradual restoration of the monuments destroyed by time and natural disasters in addition to a number of other projects, which are described below.

Ways You Can Help

News and Updates

November 8th, 2023: Report on Restoration Work: The first goals for the restoration of monuments at the Novo-Diveevo cemetery have been achieved!

Adopt a grave

Sadly, many of the people buried here no longer have relatives who could take care of the graves. Recently, visitors to the cemetery have asked permission from the monastery to help ennoble and take care of abandoned graves. We are pleased to offer the start of this charitable project.

As a first step, five tombstones in serious need of repair were identified and designated for restoration. The estimated cost of this initial restoration work is approximately $5,000, and this project requires financial support for the repair of these tombstones. The grave monuments were selected from across the various types found in the cemetery, e.g., marble, granite and wooden monuments.

All those who are able to offer financial assistance for the restoration of monuments will be provided with a full report on the expenditure of funds for specific work, photos of the work process, as well as “before” and “after” photos will be published upon completion of the restoration.

Current Restorations

  1. Princess Maria Moussine-Poushkine
  2. Prince Grigory Nikolaevich Diassamidze
  3. Pavel Vasilievich Shakhov
  4. Alexander Nikiforovich Kuprin
  5. Dimitri Grigorievich Gritsukov

Princess Maria Musina-Pushkina

Cost of Repairs: $1000

Amount Collected: $1000

GOAL REACHED! Read more here

Marble cross. The Moussine-Poushkine family is one of the oldest Russian noble families. Men from this family were awarded the honor “Hero of the Patriotic War” against Napoleon in 1812. Two representatives of this family, Vladimir Alekseevich and Epaphrodite Stepanovich, were Decembrists. The father of Vladimir Alekseevich, Alexei Ivanovich Moussine-Poushkine, a well-known historian and collector in the 18th century, discovered the oldest Russian literary masterpiece, “The Tale of Igor’s Campaign.”

Work needed for restoration: Pouring a new foundation; Restoration of the cross.

Prince Grigory Nikolaevich Diassamidze

Cost of Repairs: $1700

Amount Collected: $1700

GOAL REACHED! Read more here

Wooden cross. Diassamidze is a Georgian princely family. From the beginning of the 19th century, the princes Diassamidze served faithfully in the Russian Empire, and fought during the First World War. The family is known as the dynasty of Military Doctors.

Work needed for restoration: Pouring a new foundation; Installation of the cross and new concrete frame

Pavel Vasilievich Shakhov

Cost of Repairs: $1000

Amount Collected: $1000

GOAL REACHED! Read more here

Granite Cross (destroyed by Hurricane Sandy). Senior Lieutenant of the Imperial Navy; fought in the First World War. Member of the White Struggle under the St. Andrew’s flag in the East of Russia. For military merits he was awarded by Admiral A.V. Kolchak.

Work needed for restoration: Monument repair and installation.

Alexander Nikiforovich Kuprin

Cost of Repairs: $800

Amount Collected: $800

GOAL REACHED! Read more here

Granite Cross (destroyed by Hurricane Sandy). The Kuprins are a Russian noble family. One of the descendants of this family is the famous Russian writer Alexander Ivanovich Kuprin.

Work needed for restoration: Remove the cross, fasten the fallen parts to restore the cross.

Dimitri Grigorievich Gritsukov

Cost of Repairs: $1200

Amount Collected: $1200

GOAL REACHED! Read more here

Granite Cross. Cossack of the Kuban Army of the village of Vozdvizhenskaya. Thousands of Cossacks fought during the Civil War on the side of the White Army and were destined to leave Russia after the Revolution and forced to live in exile.

Work needed for restoration: Pour a new foundation, repair the cross, install the cross on the new foundation

Plant a Birch Tree in Memory of Your Loved Ones

Novo-Diveevo Cemetery is now offering an opportunity to plant birch trees in specific locations at the cemetery. While trees are no longer permitted at individual grave sites, we would like to offer this opportunity for family members to pay respects to their loved ones by planting a birch tree and at the same time to participate in the beautification of our cemetery.

Volunteer Your Time at the Cemetery

For those who would like to make friends for the glory of God and personally help in the improvement of the cemetery, you can visit during our working hours (Monday to Friday from 7am-4pm) or on Saturday and help the workers of the monastery in restoring wooden crosses, cleaning the cemetery territory and generally to support other needs of the cemetery. Please contact us via email at or call the monastery office at 845-356-0425.

Donate for Repair Materials

Another way to support the monastery’s efforts is to help with the procurement of materials needed for restoration of the monuments, for example, paint, special bonding cement, and the like. For more information, please contact us via email at or call the monastery office at 845-356-0425.

Other Ways to Help

  1. General volunteer Saturdays
    Occasionally we will have opportunities for all those people willing to help to gather on a set date and work for the glory of God together. Such days will be announced 1-2 weeks in advance. You can subscribe to our newsletter, check online or call the office to find out more.
  2. Donate equipment
    Please call the cemetery office 845-356-0425 if you have any equipment you can donate for any of the aforementioned projects.
  3. Help us cover Grass cutting costs at the cemetery
    It costs over 30K a year for landscaping costs and maintenance. The high price is due to the fact that the cemetery allows frames and grave covers, which make it more difficult to cut the grass around graves on a monthly basis. Any and all financial support is appreciated and we thank you in advance.