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Conservation of wood-carved iconostasis

H.C. of Cell of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist | Nea Skiti | Mount Athos


The iconostasis of the Holy Cell of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist in Nea Skiti of Mount Athos, with dimensions of

350 x 330 cm, it is a product of the highest aesthetic quality and rich in sculptural ornamentation.

Its elaborate carved images, gilding, and colour accents set it apart from similar works.

ARTIS began conservation work in 2010, which lasted for a total of six months. Because the iconostasis had suffered serious damages in a fire on August 25th, 2007, it was deemed necessary that all of the work should  be done in situ.

Restoration was carried out by the expert personnel of ARTIS in a multiple-step process, which began with the specialists reinforcing the physical integrity of the wood and dealing with the extensive damage caused by wood-boring insects and fungi. Using special techniques and cleaning agents, they were able to discover the underlying original layer of the work. After these processes were completed, aesthetic restoration of the gilding and surface colouring was next.

With complete fidelity to the authenticity of the work, its historical character and originality, ARTIS adheres to certain strict principles of art conservation  (reversibility, minimal intervention, readability).

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