Collection of wood-carved lanterns

H.C. of Saint Spyridonas | Corfu

  • Conservation Treatments Portfolio

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These processional torches from the Metropolitan Church of St. Spyridon in Corfu are “liturgical” torches used in processions. They accompany processions involving the holy icons, the Epitaphios, icons for patronal feasts and the relics of Saints.

In total, there are eight wooden gilded torches bearing elaborate ornamental carvings, dating back to the 18th century. The dimensions of the carved wooden surface of each of these works is 43 cm in diameter and 107 cm in height. Conservation work lasted for four months.

Through specialised techniques and cleaning agents, the overpainted layers was removed from the surfaces so as to reveal the underlying original layer. The torches had undergone earlier interventions and, as was revealed in the preliminary cleanings, there was an upper layer of gold paint applied to a lower, thick layer of primer.

Afterwards, the appropriate actions were taken to secure and reinforce the durability of the wood, since with the passing of time, the wood had undergone significant physical strain. This physical strain had even resulted in the detachment of certain parts, cracking and alteration of the original design of the woodcarving.

The aesthetic restoration of the torches followed, during which the expert staff of ARTIS implemented the necessary treatments for their restoration. In this final step of restoration, special glass plates were installed. With these in place, the process of aesthetic enhancement on these woodcarvings came to an end.

Conservation of  Wooden Processional Torches

H. C. of Saint Spyridon | Corfu | Greece

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