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Degradation and conservation

By gss  
Today a small personal reflection about: degradation and conservation. Case study: the outside painted churches of Bukovina.
These days when scanning this old slides, i have noticed different degrees of degradation of the outside paintings. Scholars have many theories, and the true cause should be a mix of all that theories. But I've noticed the fact that the most degraded frescoes are on the churches situated on the Suceava Plateau [looks as a high wavy plain, with some oak forests, at 500 m altitude, but very exposed to the harsh winter winds coming from NE - Ukraine and Russia, many of them terrible blizzards]. The monasteries or chrches located in the Oriental Carpathians, heavy covered with spruce or fir forests, are better conserved. [I don't talk about human efforts of conservation during time].
On mountains winds are creating turbulences and so called quiet areas; should investigate if this churches are in this sheltered areas. Those in the opened plateau have to resists to a terrible abrasive machine - the "crivat" - the NE winter blizzard, that acts as an air jet with particles [snow and ice]. That's why ALL the churches have almost completely lost their frescoes on North and East. But those outside the mountains, have lost big parts of frescoes even on S and W sides.
That's the case here at Patrauti Church, located north from Suceava, in the middle of the plateau with the same name. Here facades get in time an unusual and ad-hoc solution - someone covered facades with a new plaster. My picture, very old -1971, was before the last restorations having put down this plaster and restored the fragments of frescoes. This plaster saved the frescoes, but wondering if after the restorations, even if treated with colorless silicates, will resist better.
Not only the wind + snow and ice causes damages but rain and light. That is shown too at Patrauti: the huge roof had protected better the upper regions of the facades - from rain but also from sunlight - some pigments are very sensible. In fact - less here [due the plaster cover] but in other cases, the best areas protected are following the contour of the shadow generated by the large eaves. That's why, in the 70's many restorers have exaggerated the dimension of the eaves to protect more areas, but this have now stopped as this changes the proportions of the roof, and finally the whole shape of the monuments. Many tests with large models under wing tunnels have permitted to get the better dimension of the eaves to make a good compromise between proportions and conservation.
Patrauti church was built by Stephen the Great [ 1457-1504] in 1487. Between 1473-1486, he was engaged in a long episode of battles against the Ottoman Empire. Then he made peace with the Turks and turned over internal affairs. Since 1486 he built only Putna monastery but since 1486 to 1504 he built more than 50. Cities have also grown, was a very prosperous era.
Patrauti church , has the patron day the 14 September, the day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [that is also my birthday]. Inside there is a very well kept votive painting [showing Stephen the Great family offering the model of the church to Jesus Christ], very famous in Romania.

Tags: Church Architecture Romania Restoration Patrauti

Voters: woolybill1, bobpaige1, Joline and 18 more


Joline Plus
15 38 59 United States
18 Feb 2016 12:55PM
I wonder if air pollution contributes to the decay along with the weather. Such treasures you have photographed.
CarolG 15 199 20 Greece
18 Feb 2016 2:03PM
You havve such interesting architecture in your homeland, Silviu, another fascinating image and write-up.
NDODS 11 5.2k 127 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2016 2:36PM

Quote:I wonder if air pollution contributes to the decay along with the weather. Such treasures you have photographed.

It must do surely.

Thanks for sharing Silviu

Regards NathanGrinGrinGrin
jocas 7 6 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2016 4:48PM
it is incredible they have survived this long- the authorities struggle with roads and pavements here in Bulgaria with the fierce winter freeze thaw conditions and even in the uk heavy prolonged rain just rips up the roads - i hope they find a way to save these treasures as they are absolutely irreplaceable. thank you for sharing your countries fabulous heritage Silviu.
JuBarney Plus
10 36 5 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2016 5:19PM
Lovely shots & prefer the mono today.
prabhusinha 13 5 5 India
18 Feb 2016 6:02PM
Thanks for sharing pic & information
18 Feb 2016 9:21PM
Love it Silviu. Cathy
Bantu 8 7 1 India
19 Feb 2016 4:55AM
A great work and captures Silvieu.

Chinga Plus
11 3 2 United Kingdom
19 Feb 2016 10:43AM
Good title and good image Silviu...
Good work...
Nikonuser1 Plus
9 170 16 United Kingdom
19 Feb 2016 1:34PM
A great write up and capture SilviuGrinGrinGrin


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