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Project for the restoration of ceramic icon of Saint Theodore Stratelates
Project of the National Institute of Archaeology with Museum (NIAM-BAS) and National Museum of History in Sofia (NMH) for the restoration of ceramic icon of Saint Theodore Stratelates has been approved for funding by the American Research Center in Sofia.
The restoration is going to be performed by two restorers with experience in conservation of silicate materials employed at the NMH and the NIAM-BAS – Dr. Daniela Cherneva and Sevdalina Neykova, and by Prof. Ivana Eneva, a University Professor and a lecturer in Ceramic technology in the National Academy of Arts – Department of Ceramics.
The masterpiece of the Veliki Preslav ceramic school – the ceramic icon of Saint Theodore Stratelates dated to 9-10th c. will undergo major restoration treatment. The unique piece of art of national and world significance, emblematic for Bulgarian history, had been presented numerous times beyond Bulgarian borders. Currently, it’s fragility does not allow for transportation of the monument to other locations. In addition, the restoration intervention executed in the beginning of the 20th century is considered far cry from conservation ethics jugged by present-day criteria. The old restoration intervention disturbed the aesthetics of the original image due to introduction of polymers which have changed the original colours of the ceramic tiles drastically upon material aging.
The new restoration treatment of the icon aims at removing of all conservation materials introduced during previous interventions; a technological expertise; scientific investigation, including determination of the chemical profile of the ceramic tiles, as well as identification of decorative techniques; consolidation and stabilization of highly fragile original materials; and reinstating of icon’s aesthetical value.