MOSCOW, May 24 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s legendary cruiser Avrora, a symbol of the October 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, will most likely be moved for repair work in September this year, a Navy spokesman said on Friday.
“The Avrora is expected to be sent for repair work in September 2013,” the official said, adding that the work will be carried out in an as yet undecided shipyard in Russia’s second city of St. Petersburg, where the cruiser is moored.
“The overhaul may take up to 18 months. After that, the cruiser will return to its regular berth and continue to be a museum,” he said.
The Avrora is currently being inspected by shipbuilding experts to assess its condition and determine the volume of repair work required, according to the official.
The cruiser played a key part in the events of October 1917, famously firing a blank shell from the River Neva that was the signal for Bolshevik workers and soldiers to storm the Winter Palace in Petrograd, as St. Petersburg was then known, leading to the Communists taking power in the city, which was at that time the Russian capital.
In 1944 the ship was moored at a berth on the city’s Petrovskaya Embankment as a floating museum and fleet memorial, while remaining part of the Russian Navy.
The cruiser was decommissioned in 2010 and passed to the care of the Central Naval Museum in St. Petersburg. The last naval crew left the ship in October last year.
However, newly-appointed Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in January ordered the ship be re-commissioned and sent for repairs to remain a key symbol of Russia’s historical heritage and naval glory.