In September 2014 the last request of Vasily Engelhardt, an outstanding Russian scientist, corresponding member of the St.Petersburg Academy of Science (1980), astronomer, well-known collector and publisher of Mikhail Glinka's heritage, researcher of the Italian and Swiss campaigns, founder of the Kazan University Observatory, will be fulfilled.
In April 2014 Ilshat Gafurov, Rector of Kazan Federal University met with Alexey Lavrov, deputy Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation, Member of KFU Supervisory Board, a person who cared about the renewal of the observatory and had given significant support to making the historical complex into a scientific and educational centre, and discussed the question of reburial. The meeting was attended by Ramil Khairutdinov, Director of the Institute of International Relations, History and Oriental Studies, well known as a federal expert in the field of cultural heritage, study of monuments and museology. The Rector entrusted him with a task to bend every effort to organize the reburial in order to fulfill Vasily Engelhardt's last will.
Ramil Khairutdinov is looking back how the implementation of the project started.
‑ Thanks to our colleagues- historians, archivers, museum workers, we studied the archives of the Astronomical Observatory and Lobachevsky Research Library in a very short time. We were impressed by the fact that the scientist living so far from his Motherland was emotionally involved into the future of the Kazan University and its astronomic school. Vasily Engelhardt put the most efforts to establish a new observatory in the Kazan University for the benefit and prosperity of native science and culture.
On 21 September 1901 at the official opening of a new observatory of the Kazan University the researcher donated his equipment, then-best in Europe. He also made his property of 280-300 thousand rubles in gold over to the Kazan University. The new observatory got the official name of Engelhardt.
The scientist died in May 1915 in the middle of World War I; it was complicated to fulfill his request at that time, so he was buried at the old Holy Trinity Cemetery in Drezden (Trinitatisfriedhof). About 100 years passed before his ashes can be returned to Russia.
Late in August, with the attendance of officials, Kazan and German colleagues, the representative of the funeral house will transfer the remains into a new coffin to be sealed up and sent by air to Kazan. In Tatarstan a pahikhida and a reburial ceremony will be carried out on the territory of the Engelhardt Astronomical Observatory of the KFU Institute of Physics, and a prominent astronomer and a public figure having made a substantial contribution into the making of the Kazan University and the development of Russian science, history and culture, will be back to his native land.