The Revived Treasures of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra
“The Revived Treasures of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra” (from the collection of the National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Preserve) is a large exhibition project presenting artworks that have been returned to the museum after the difficult and dedicated task that restorers have been charged with away from public view. The exhibition presents an account of the conservation efforts of the national cultural heritage in the first decade of the 21st century by the specialists of the Department of Scientific Restoration and Conservation of the National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Preserve, one of the largest restoration departments among museum institutions in Ukraine.
The exhibition gathers over 120 works of art from the 15th to the 20th century from the Preserve’s fund collection, including icons, silver church utensils, liturgical textiles, embroidery, early printed books, engravings and sculptures. The restored artefacts – most of which are exhibited for the first time – reflect the complexity and diversity of the museum’s collection and give an idea of the restorers’ specialisations in the restoration and conservation of works in different media ranging from tempera and oil paintings, polychrome sculptures and carvings, items made of metal, fabrics, paper and leather.
The main section of the exhibition presents liturgical artefacts from Lavra’s sacristy, works by the monastery’s icon painters, archaeological findings from the excavations of the ruins of the Assumption Cathedral and much more.
The exhibition also includes one of the most remarkable works from Lavra’s masters: an early 19th century iconostasis from the Church of the Nativity in the Far caves. Its restoration has been recently completed and it will soon be returned to the church. Until then, visitors have the unique opportunity to view this masterpiece up close at the museum.
The exhibited artefacts reveal the basic principles guiding the work of the Preserve’s restorers: maximal respect for the artefacts and minimal intervention in the works’ authenticity – elimination of factors that threaten the survival of the artefacts and using established materials and techniques in combination with modern developments.
The restorer’s spadework and inspired results breathe new life into the artworks, thus allowing contemporaries to experience the cultural heritage of the past and preserve it for future generations.