Mileseva, Summer 2002 - Fund Blago of the Serbian Unity Congress continues its work on the preservation and restoration of the most beautiful frescoes of our medieval art. The financial aid provided last year, allowed for the urgent restoration of the renowned frescos White Angel and the Last Supper. The next valuable item to be preserved is part of a unique wall fresco known as The Nemanjics Procession which is composed of several pictures.
The Procession is located above the main external entrance in the Mileseva Monastery and comprises historical portraits of the rulers of the Nemanjic family, starting from Nemanja through Saint Sava, Stefan the First-Crowned, King Radoslav, and finally to the very endower of the Mileseva Monastery, King Vladislav.
The Mileseva Monastery, located some 7km from Prijepolje, is thought to have some of the world's most beautiful and most famous frescoes. First examinations in the summer of 1995 indicated that urgent work was needed on the frescoes which were badly deteriorating. Another serious problem apparently was that the frescoes were below a dark, half-transparent centuries-old layer-patina which now adheres to their surface together with hard atmosphere dust. That thin layer completely changes the actual appearance and real value of the images and paintings, concealing the intensity and proportions of the colors, some of which have darkened or disappeared completely. Also, the value of the glaze could not be seen at all. In such circumstances, only the most experienced connoisseurs can "see" the original creation of the master-painter. After renovation, these frescoes will glow in their true colors.
The extraordinarily beautiful frescoes had been left deteriorating until 2002 mainly because of Serbia's limited financial circumstances. That year, Mr. Nenad Vukicevic, Vice-President of the Serbian Unity Congress and President of the Fund Blago while making a CD on the Mileseva Monastery learned of the predicament affecting the wall frescoes The Last Supper and White Angel. Since then, the SUC Fund Blago became the sponsors of these pieces of the Serbian culture and art. Continuation of the preservation and restoration efforts now underway is of great importance for our cultural heritage.
NEW EXPEDITION OF FUND BLAGO
FILMING OF THE KING'S CHURCH AT STUDENICA
In the past three years, the Serbian Unity Congress made, through its Fund Blago, the best electronic archives of two Serbian monasteries: Mileseva and Ravanica. These presentations comprise virtual tours through the interior and vicinity of these monasteries, and the exhibition of the entire body of frescos from the dome to the floor with all the details.
In June of 2002, the Fund Blago team continued its work by archiving the King's Church at Studenica. Material is right now being processed and the presentation is expected to be available on the Serbian Unity Congress' Internet site by the end of July.
It was a real pleasure being the guest of the fraternity of the Studenica Monastery. The monks were extraordinary hosts, going out of their way and routine to accommodate different set-ups in the church. The overall impression was that everyone participated in something very important in the protection of the heritage of the one of the oldest Serbian monasteries and its presentation to the world.