Artifacts restored within the project

The interactive exhibition within the project ”The Church of Horea – a heritage for the future. Valuing an 18th century architecture monument through virtual reality”, project carried out by the Transylvanian Museum of Ethnography, together with the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca and the Norwegian association NUDA AS, financed with the support of EEA Grants 2014 – 2021 within the RO-CULTURE Programme, has exposed liturgical objects, made of wood, painted, which have undergone an extensive process of conservation and restoration, demonstrating once again, if necessary, the professionalism and dedication of the polychrome wood restorer Ioan Butnariu, from the Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania .

Each liturgical object exhibited is unique in its own way, this being the case with the painted wooden cross with inventory number B.9189, which in order to be exhibited had to go through thorough, discreet, balanced restoration operations, and as little as possible visible (photo 1-2, photo 17-18 – the cross before and after the restoration).

The wooden cross, painted with tempera, measuring 32 cm x 20 cm, dates back to the 20th century. The symmetrical composition on the vertical and horizontal presents a geometric decoration: triangles and squares, made of serpentine and straight lines, of different colors: yellow, red-brown, present on both sides, symmetrical.

At the base, the cross has a polygonal handle, attached to the body by a polygonal sphere. Both the facets of the handle and the sphere are painted in red and blue, arranged alternately.

The restoration operations performed were as follows:

  • disassembly of the assembly by extracting non-constitutive metal nails (photo 3-4)
  • mechanical cleaning of joint areas (photo 5)
  • cleaning of the adhesive deposits of the color film (photo 6)
  • filling in the gaps (photo 7, 8, 9)
  • restoration and gluing of the constituent elements using a solution of bone glue (photo 10, 11, 12, 13)
  • selective chromatic integration of lacunar areas through water colors (photo 14, 15, 16).

Following the initial steps, made in making the cross, using similar techniques in surface processing and finishing applications, using identical materials, the object restored by Ioan Butnariu – expert restorer of polychrome wood, received a new coat, but without changing the original features.

The talent, patience and confidence that you will be able to do what you set out to do, skills necessary for any restaurateur, were successfully transferred by Ioan Butnariu on the cross (B.9189), which can be appreciated by visitors in the interactive exhibition hosted of the museum, together with the other objects restored by the team of the Conservation-Restoration Laboratory of the Transylvanian Museum of Ethnography.

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