Between April 26-29, 2022, a team of experts from the European Centre for Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Monuments carried out research in the Byzantine church of St George in Kurbinovo to prepare a study for the preservation of the surviving frescoes both inside and outside the building. This church is one of the most important monuments of Byzantine Macedonia and preserves one of a leading series of monumental paintings from the Komnenos era (1191).
In June 2021, the Ministry of Culture of Northern Macedonia signed a memorandum of cooperation with the European Centre for Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Monuments, for the preservation of this very important monument’s frescoes. On-site investigations by the conservators of the Centre followed and recently the competent services of the Ministry of Culture of Northern Macedonia approved the preparation of the completed study, which includes sampling of colours, images shot with a multispectral camera, shooting with UV radiation, chromatometry, macroscopic shots with a stereoscopic microscope, photography with tangential lighting.
These days, the Centre’s team of conservators (Electra Karagiannidou, responsible for the study, Asterios Apostolidis, Alexios Papapelekanos and Alexandros Konstantas) headed by Dr. Flora Karagianni, with the assistance of the staff of the Institute of Monuments and Museums in Bitola (Oliviera Makrievska, Jovica Bogoev, Slave Stojanov, Krste Kocov)
with Meri Stojanova as their head, carried out on-site investigative work at the monument, using specialized equipment of the latest technology, brought from Greece. The aim is to complete a thorough documentation of the original paintings, to locate and verify possible overpainting and all modifications undergone over the centuries, to record the paintings’ pathology, and finally to propose the operations needed for their conservation. The study is expected to be completed by next July, when it will be submitted for approval by the competent bodies of the Ministry of Culture of Northern Macedonia. Then, the European Centre for Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Monuments will proceed with realizing the conservation work of the murals, funded by the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports.