- September 20, 2014
Polish conservators are saving the Vilnius angel
One of the most valuable monuments in Vilnius Old Rossa, located at the tomb of Iza Salmonowicz (1877-1901), with a beautiful angel – the work of the famous sculptor form Warsaw, Leopold Wasilkowski is regaining its former glory.
After many formalities that preceded the renewal of this high artistic value monument, it was commissioned to Polish top class conservators. The team, which in those days worked in Rossa consists of: M.A. Zenon Sadecki, the conservator of the stone sculpture and architectural elements, a longtime employee of Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts; M.A. Anthony Ciężkowski, the conservator of the stone sculpture and architectural elements; M.A. Janusz Mróz, the conservator of metal; M.A. Wieslaw Grzegorek, the architect-constructor, whose management are the recommendations for conservation and restoration works within the tomb of the monument; Waldemar Sadecki, V year student of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts.
Early construction works and brickworks made Viktor Nowosielski from Vilnius, protecting in this way the monument, which has been threatened with collapsing from the high escarpment.
Zenon Sadecki, the manager of the work of the team, performing the task at the Rossa said: “After cleaning the base of sandstone, it turned out that the condition of the surface was good, with no signs of the mechanical damage. There are only slight chippings at the edges. Corners of cladding panels made of labradorite are cracked. Their dismantling will let to remove the corrosion products and protect the core against the negative impact on the cladding panels. One of the panels must be replaced.”
The restoration of the former splendour to the figure of an angel is the achievement of Janusz Mróz, who inch by inch had meticulously removed accumulations. We can already see the angel’s beautiful robe …
Polish conservators firmly stated that for then it was not know how the sculpture was mounted on its base. After its dismantle they will be able to describe the structure and the internal state of its preservation. This is another, very important stage of works. We will try to report on them in our magazine.
To conclude, we have a bad message, but with a happy finale. After the beginning of works, a team of Polish conservators clearly stated that the invaluable masterpiece – the angel – was prepared by the villains for dismantle (there are visible signs of undermining the sculpture). Probably, it was done a few years ago, when in Rossa took place a great steal of antique metal elements (plaques, portraits) on the graves of Joseph Montwill, Tadeusz Wroblewski and Joseph Bałzukiewicz. In that time, the thieves undermined standing on a pedestal bust of Joachim Lelewel. Only thanks to the instant action of the Social Committee for the Care of Old Ross Vilnius and dedicated work of the Vilnius art restorer, Czeslaw Polonsky, this precious keepsake survived.
Photo: Peter Zambrzycki
” Vilnius Courier”
Translated by Katarzyna Ratajek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.