Restoration of Dragomirna Church’s frescoes in Romania celebrated

The Local Award Ceremony for the conservation of Dragomirna church’s 17th century frescoes in Suceava was held at the Monastery premises on 18 September 2014. This outstanding restoration project received a Grand Prix from the Jury of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards and also won the Public Choice Award in 2014. Dozens of heritage and cultural professionals, volunteers and supporters and representatives from local, regional and national authorities gathered to celebrate this remarkable heritage achievement from Romania.

Local Award Ceremony for Dragomirna Church's 17th Century Frescoes
“The Jury was struck by the high-level of professionalism in the sophisticated conservation of this enormous artwork, covering some 900 square metres of wall surface. The work was carried out in situ in a remarkably short period of time. The conservation team comprised 50 professionals and students from various countries, under the leadership of a Romanian expert,” recalled in her speech Maria Berza, who represented Europa Nostra at the ceremony.

“The result of the interventions is unexpected, and the church can be admired by visitors in its original form designed at the beginning of the 17th century, time when it was an absolute architectural novelty having a sumptuous painting neither seen in preceding nor in succeeding monuments,” stated Carmen Solomonea, Lead Specialist of Dragomirna Church Restoration Project.

“The mural painting of the church of the Dragomirna Monastery was restored for the first time after 400 years, and the extensive works were possible through the implementation of this project funded by the European Union. The restoration project brought back the real value and grandness of the historical monument, with its spectacular architectural edifice within a monastic compound fortified with towers and massive walls, making it an outstanding example among monuments of the same type in the north of Moldavia and Europe. The mural paintings of Dragomirna are important due to their mixture of influences from the artistic styles in Europe during the first years of the 17th century. This fusion brings subtle uniqueness to the decorative programme, through combining elements borrowed from other cultural environments with local and post-Byzantine styles dating from preceding centuries in Moldavia,” explained Carmen Solomonea during her presentation.

Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Culture was the architect Dan Kisilewicz. The Mother Superior of the Dragomirna Monastery Macrina Saucinitanu also spoke at the event.

The award ceremony was followed by a guided tour to the Church, the Towers and the Museum of the Dragomirna Monastery.

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