Cozia Monastery

Cozia Monastery is an old monastery located on Olt Valley in the Carpathian Mountains, in Romania. It is a magnificent monastic complex, which comprises the Main Church, three chapels, and the monks’s cells. Cozia was built by Mircea cel Batrin (Michael the Elder) in 1386. He was Vlad Dracul’s grandfather.

The interior of the main Church was decorated with Byzantine style fresco paintings. These paintings were executed by painting with water based colors on wet lime plaster that has been reinforced with organic fibers such as; hemp, camel hair, or horse hair.
The pronaos (nartex) frescoes date from 1386; they are 123 ears older than the frescoes painted by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, Vatican. The frescoes from the the pridvor (exonartex) date from 1386. The frescoes from the naos (nave), altar (apse), and pridvor (portico) date from late 17th Century.
The restoration of the Main Church was performed between 1984 and 1986 (Cozia’s 600 years anniversary).

The team leaders for this project were Ion Neagoe and Viorel Grimalschi.

Restoration consisted of:

  • Consolidation of the lime plaster support layers that have become detached from the masonry walls and filling the missing areas of plaster support with lime plaster compound – similar in composition with the original one
  • Consolidation of flaking and delaminating paint layer
  • Cleaning
  • Inpainting (reintegrating the image) using reversible painting materials compatible with fresco painting