How Sacred Is the Sacred Space? Interventions, Icon Damages, Fresco Destructions in Churches of Wallachia

Cristina Bogdan
Any image is part of a scheme of double temporality: on the one hand, it seems to be dependent on the historical context in which it was created; on the other hand, it is submitted to a diachronic perspective, always judging from the standpoint of other cultural codes. The image becomes thus a kind of palimpsest, in which the attentive eye can identify the changes of mentality associated to the idolatrous or iconoclastic attitudes. It testifies the fragility of the exterior look unable to understand the purpose of a given type of representation and, implicitly, the vulnerability of the cultural memory, which keeps on losing its witnesses. The frequent cases of icon damages or irremediable destructions of frescoes in Wallachia’s worship monuments prove thus an erroneous understanding of the sacred space, as well as of the idea of cultural patrimony.
sacred space, religious iconography, cultural patrimony, fresco destructions, images of Death.