Adriana Gabriela MARDALE
Universitatea din Craiova, Facultatea de Teologie Ortodoxă University of Craiova, Faculty of Orthodox Theology
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12 / 2014
Istorie si studii culturale
The Merry Cemetery of Săpânţa – Main Causes of Degradation of the Painted Crosses
The Merry Cemetery of Săpânţa – Maramureş county represents an unique phenomenon at least for Europe, if not for the entire world. For more than a half of century it has become an attraction for the European tourism due to the creation of the artisan sculptor Stan Ioan Pătraş. He is the one who executed the monument-crosses in oak, he composed the epitaphs carved in wood and then painted them. Being permanently exposed to the direct influence of the environment, the monument crosses damage themselves from esthetic and structural point of view. The main factor of degradation is represented by the permanent contact with the external environmental factors: the water, the temperature and the light that affect both the wood and the paint layer which covers the crosses. Other influence is represented by the human being who brings more damages than benefits to the original crosses through his brutal and inappropriate intervention. In 2006, 31 old crosses out of over 800 new and old pieces were restored under a conservation and restoration project that aimed: to identify the crosses with heritage value; to identify the woody essences and the biodegradation agents of wood; to determine the conservation status of the wooden support for all the crosses considered to have heritage value; to appreciate the damages expansion; to suggest the conservation, restoration and replacement measures, the crosses consolidation, to identify the insecticide-fungicide treatments, to analyze and identify the materials, pigments and techniques used for painting and repainting, to describe the conservation status of the paint layers on the crosses considered to have heritage value, to prevent the degradation expansion and to suggest the conservation and restoration measures (consolidation of the paint layers, cleaning, protection measures and possibly making replies). It is required a constant monitoring for the conservation status of the crosses by authorized persons and the immediate intervention through conservation and restoration measures if there are notticed changes from the original state.
Keywords: the Merry Cemetery, painted cross, restored cross, Sapanta, Maramures.
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