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Mar 31, 2015: Finishing the restoration of the 13th century Novgorod "Book of the Helmsman"

Finishing the restoration of the 13th century Novgorod "Book of the Helmsman"

24 March 2015, Moscow

Pepeliaev Group and the State Historical Museum are pleased to announce that they have completed the unique project to restore the 13th century Novgorod "Book of the Helmsman".

The Novgorod "Book of the Helmsman" was created in 1280 as one of the first legal documents in Ancient Rus. Apart from Byzantine records (such as the "Syntagma Canonum" and the Serbian-edited "Nomocanon"), it comprises Russian legislative acts, including the oldest known copy of the "Russkaya Pravda" (‘Russian Justice’) and the "Zakon Sudnyi Liudem" (‘Court Law for the People’ legal codes. In the 14th century, the compendium was updated with the Prince Vladimir Charter (the oldest copy) and the Prince Svyatoslav Olgovich Charter.

The restoration work performed on the book was so complicated that the Museum's administration had to spend six months just to find an expert who would be ready to take on the restoration of the antique tome.

Pepeliaev Group initiated the restoration of the first known code of laws and rules of Ancient Rus (which is regarded as the first Russian state). This formed a part of the firm’s activities aimed at fostering science and culture and promoting the study of legal history.

Sergey Pepeliaev, Managing Partner of Pepeliaev Group, commented on why the firm decided to support this project in particular. "Legal culture has very long traditions in Russia - this is something to remember and be proud of,” he noted. “By participating in the restoration of the Novgorod "Book of the Helmsman", we believe that we have helped to promote the rule of law."

Alexey Levykin, Director of the State Historical Museum, also spoke about the project. "We are deeply appreciative of Pepeliaev Group's support of for the project to restore one of the rarest pieces of our museum - the Novgorod "Book of the Helmsman",” he said. “Experts have for a long time been banging the drum for the manuscript to be restored. but it was not until recently that we have obtained the opportunity to implement this project - thanks to the support from our partners. After meticulous restoration, this rarest document in Old Russian has taken its rightful place in the display of the Historical Museum."

Pepeliaev Group is a leading Russian law firm offering the full range of legal services in all regions of Russia, most former Soviet countries and abroad. Over 160 lawyers in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Krasnoyarsk, as well as in Vladivostok and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (within the alliance with Russin & Vecchi), provide legal assistance to over 1,500 companies operating in various industries. 50% of these are international corporations implementing long-term investment projects in Russia.