RUSSIA – Gothic church’s frescoes destroyed during restoration

RUSSIA – Gothic church’s frescoes destroyed during restoration

It is not just disused places of worship which can suffer damage – sometimes ill-advised adaptations to a building by a new owner can be just as damaging.

Saint Catherine’s, a 14th-century Gothic church at Arnau near Kaliningrad, has been handed over to the Russian Orthodox Church by local legislators in 2010. It contained important frescoes – the second oldest “within the total of the historic realm of the Order of Teutonic Knights” – which, after having been whitewashed for centuries, were rediscovered during the 20th century. After restoration by the Russian Orthodox church, only 2 to 3% of the frescoes remain.

Nicole Riedl, an expert in Medieval wall paintings at Hawk University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hildesheim, Germany wrote that the Russian church’s actions have violated both the Charter of Venice (the international code of professional standards for preservation and restoration) as well as Russian culture laws. “A piece of pan-European history has been destroyed,” she says.

Read the full article here.

Share this post: