At the end of June 2021, the representatives of the Mediasch Church District, the Fortified Churches Foundation, architect Alina Curea and the companies involved in the project met at the Church of Șmig to give the starting signal for basic repair work. Once this work is completed, experts will be able to turn their attention to uncovering more wall paintings.
Already about ten years ago, a team of restorers led by Lóránd Kiss (Arcus Association, Filitelnic) partially uncovered valuable paintings in the Evangelic Church of Șmig. The experts believe that these works of art belong to the 15th century and plan to uncover and restore further fragments.
However, in order not to expose the work to additional danger, other work must be done urgently first. In the past, the “Kulturerbe Kirchenburgen” association from Germany had already removed rampant vegetation and thus contributed to reducing the humidity in the church. But now it is the roof’s turn!
The roof structure, which dates back to the 19th century, has suffered serious damage over time, both in the beams and on the outside. On the one hand, any number of damaged roof tiles need to be replaced in order to restore protection from the elements. But there is also a lot of work to be done on the inside of the roof truss: a colony of pigeons has taken up residence there and damaged the floor so badly with feces that it has to be completely replaced.
The repair work should be completed by September, paving the way for restorer Kiss and his team. The cost of the work on the roof of the Șmig church amounts to around 20,000 euros, which will be provided from the roof program of the Fortified Churches Foundation financed by the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM).
St. Mary’s Church was built in the 14th century and significantly rebuilt only one hundred years later. At the beginning of the 19th century, the small church was so dilapidated that it had to be repaired. At that time, the wall paintings were also covered, and are now to be made visible again.
Text: Stefan Bichler