Suprasl, Poland, August 8, 2012
The end of July marks sad date for Suprasl Monastery—the anniversary of the destruction of the Annunciation Cathedral by the retreating Nazi invaders. In the summer of 1944, the ancient history of the monastery soared into the air together with the cathedral. The icon Museum in Suprasl is a home to the remaining 1 percent of the original frescoes painted in 1536 by the Serbian monk Nektarios. Frescoes are still the most important evidence of the connection between Orthodox Podlyashshye and the Balkans, namely Serbia and Athos. Even though these region are far away from each other geographically, they are spiritually close. This was discussed at the seminar. At present, new secrets of the Suprasl paintings are being revealed.
The Polish Orthodox Church has restored the ruined Annunciation Cathedral; and for many years, the temple remains without plaster, not due to financial problems, but to the long search for artists who would be able to recreate the 16th century work. Such frescoes need to be painted directly onto the wet plaster. The search for painters working in the Byzantine tradition continues.
The original 16th century frescoes are now being restored and will soon return to the Icon Museum. However, even the photocopies of the frescoes greatly impressed the Serbian guests. The Constantine Choir from Nis has recently stayed in Suprasl. The Serbian ambassador has also visited the museum.
It is yet unknown from which country the specialists will be chosen to restore the frescoes, but the citizens of Podlyashye hope that the cultural and spiritual ties with the Balkans will continue.