The Last Stage of the Restoration of the Murals at the Church of St. Demetrius in Patalenitsa Cover Image
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За последния етап от реставрацията на стенописите в църквата „Св. Димитър” в Паталеница
The Last Stage of the Restoration of the Murals at the Church of St. Demetrius in Patalenitsa

Author(s): Ivan Vanev
Subject(s): Fine Arts / Performing Arts
Published by: Институт за изследване на изкуствата, Българска академия на науките

Summary/Abstract: With the financial support of the A.G. Leventis Foundation, the years-long restoration of the wall paintings at the Church of St Demetrius in Patalenitsa was completed in 2012. The article follows the story of the uncovering of the murals and presents the last stage of the restoration. Bul- garian educator Stefan Zakhariev in his book published back in 1870 mentions about wall paintings once existing in this church. At the time, the old church in Patalenitsa was already refurbished by the local Christian community and the murals were covered with new plaster and stucco. In 1911, the naos was entirely painted. The church came within sight of Bulgarian researchers as late as the end-1930s. Several years later, the first explorations to uncover the earlier murals were conducted. A team led by Dragomir Peshev started the complete uncovering of the murals in the early 1970s. After a break of almost a decade, the restoration work on the wall paintings continued under the guidance of Peter Popov. So, in the period 1986–1987 the loose patches of the plaster and the layer of painting were fixed and cleaning of the extant fragments began. For want of funds the restoration work was stopped. The finalisation of the restoration was completed in two stages, in 2011–2012 by restorers Spaska Popova, Lachezar Stefanov and Peter Popov, who led the team. The activities performed could be grouped into three lines: consolidation of the support (plaster), cleaning of the paintings and colour integration of the damaged painted surfaces. Against a backdrop of a completely destroyed system of preservation of Bulgaria’s cultural heritage, the finalization of the decades-long restoration and repair of the wall paintings at the Church of St Demetrius in Patalenitsa could be deemed to be a happenstance. The last stage of the restoration uncovered for the researchers unknown details of the technology, techniques and the iconographic programme of medieval wall painting, succeeding at the same time in regaining the authentic colours.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 47-49
  • Page Count: 3
  • Language: Bulgarian