Interesting facts revealed during restoration work at St Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv
The results of in-depth studies of mosaics, frescoes and oil paintings during the restoration works in St. Sophia Cathedral confirmed the guesses that the building had two commissioners – Volodymyr the Baptist and Yaroslav the Wise.
This was stated at a press conference in Kyiv by Nelya Kukovalska, Director General of the St Sofia of Kyiv National Reserve , UNN reports.
“The first stage of the survey and restoration has taken place and there are some interesting results. Today, the survey showed that we had interesting puzzles which we first encountered in 2013-14 during the survey in the northern part of the central transept, and today they were solved. Studies and discoveries have confirmed that St Sofia really has two church donors, two periods, as it is embedded in the theory put forward by our experts. They are St Volodymyr the Baptist and St Yaroslav the Wise, and even the monumental mosaic painting confirms it, "said the director of the reserve.
She explained that in the years 2013-14 some layers of mosaics were found on the fresco - the mosaic was applied over the frescoes. During this year's studies of the mosaic, the same layers on the western pillars of the arch near the cornice were discovered.
“This confirms once again that there were two customers, two periods. In fact, when Prince Volodymyr, who was the customer of the St. Sophia Cathedral, died in 1015, his son Yaroslav the Wise -- who tried to complete the decoration of the cathedral as soon as possible -- came to replace him in May 1018, exactly 1,000 years ago, to illuminate this temple, it was impossible to make a mosaic, so they painted a fresco. After the consecration, after the establishment of the production, the mosaic continued to be painted on the ground in place of the mosaic instead of the fresco that had been painted. This was confirmed at the time of the survey,” said she.
According to Nelya Kukovalska, in addition to the restoration, a chemical-technological analysis on microbiota will be conducted.
The restoration of St. Sophia Cathedral is planned to be completed by the end of this year.