The photo shows nine fresco paintings uncovered at an Orthodox church in Shanghai, China. [Photo: thepaper.cn]
Nine fresco paintings were recently uncovered at an Orthodox church in Shanghai, marking the first discovery of such paintings in the city.
The paintings were discovered in the course of a restoration project launched in June of 2007, said Shen Sanxin, Chief Engineer of Shanghai Zhuzong Group Construction Development Co. Ltd., thepaper.cn reported.
One of the paintings on the dome is 25 meters above ground and has a diameter of 8 meters. It resembles a dome fresco painting at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.
The church, located in the Xuhui district of Shanghai, covers an area of 2,000 square meters, and the main dome is 31.165 meters tall. Originally built in 1933, the church was designed by a Russian architect and adheres to the style of typical Orthodox churches in early 20th century China.
Compared to other Orthodox churches, which are often extravagantly decorated and painted, Shen said that the church in Xuhui featured only white paint, which was allegedly placed on the walls during the Cultural Revolution, when all religious paintings and statues were ordered to be removed.The restoration project was therefore launched in order to uncover any hidden fresco paintings. The first phase focused on the base of the dome and the upper dome, Shen noted. The stained glass of the church helped to block out strong sunlight, and the high walls as well as the white paint all contributed to the preservation of the fresco paintings.