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    Exceptional 17th-Century Iconostasis Fragments Unearthed in Polish Church Attic

    In a groundbreaking discovery, researchers from the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences have uncovered substantial fragments of a 17th-century iconostasis in the attic of a church located in Nowoberezowo, Podlaskie. Experts believe this find to be the oldest of its kind in the region, attributing its significance to both its originality and remarkable state of preservation.

    The revelation unfolded as part of the ‘Consolidation of Heritage’ project, focusing on inventorying and documenting monuments along the western border of the eastern lands of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Dr. Zbigniew Michalczyk, Piotr Jamski, and Jan Nowicki from the Catalogue of Art Monuments in Poland team spearheaded the discovery.

    The 17th-century iconostasis fragments were unearthed during extensive research in the Hajnówka district, specifically within the confines of the church of St. John the Theologian in Nowoberezowo. A total of 17 fragments were identified, each exhibiting varying degrees of preservation.

    In a presentation held in Białystok, where the discovery was showcased, researchers shared photographs of the recovered fragments along with intricate details of individual icons. Additionally, they unveiled a comprehensive reconstruction of the entire iconostasis. This reconstruction, based on a compilation of the discovered fragments and archival materials, highlighted the placement of individual icons within the structure.

    Jan Nowicki expressed the team’s confidence in the uniqueness of the find, stating, “We have absolutely no doubt that this is a unique discovery. From the very beginning, when we realized what we were dealing with, we were convinced that it was extremely important.”

    The significance of this discovery was underscored during the presentation, which was touted as “perhaps the greatest discovery of the Catalogue of Art Monuments in Poland team since El Greco’s painting.” Nowicki likened the iconostasis discovery to a “comparable event” in the realm of art and historical findings.

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