RESTORATION OF THE ICONOSTASIS THE CHURCH OF ST. ELIJAH IN ZADAR, DIOCESE OF DALMATIA, REPUBLIC OF CROATIA

The Church of St. Elijah was built in 1773 on the foundations of an older church given to the Greek orthodox community by the Venetian Republic. The iconostasis of the church is one of the most consistent painting and decorative cycles of the Modern period in Orthodox art of Dalmatia. Stylish and mannered, in Dalmatian and Venetian frames, it is a superior example of the Serbian Orthodox and late Baroque styles, to which it belongs, both in concept and architectonics, and decorative quality and function. Most of the icons of the iconostasis of Zadar were created between in 1806 and 1811 by Mihajlo Speranza, a native of Krfljanin who lived and worked in Trieste. The Zadar iconostasis, with today's content, was completed only in 1828 when Jeftimije Popović illustrated the Royal, and two side doors and the composition of the Crucifixion on a metal base. In the period June - August 2011, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, The Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Conservation Department of Zadar carried out conservation and restoration work on the iconostasis of the church of St. Elijah in Zadar. The works were fully funded by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia, the Diocese of Dalmatia, and the Zadar Orthodox parish, and performed by the following group of restorers from The Provincial Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments from Petrovaradin: Miroslav Zakić, picture restorer, head of operations; Rastko Čurčić sculptor conservator , Dejan Radovanović, art historian; Brdarić Olivera, picture restorer, Zoran Barisić, picture restorer; Jasna Gulan, picture restorer; Tanja Šajin; sculptor conservator; Nedeljko Marković, documentary photographer. Conservation and restoration works included all segments of the iconostasis: icons, gilded carved stone and marbled wooden panels of the iconostasis. During the works, most dilemmas occured when removing the previous intervention on the icon of Mihajlo Speranza and on this occasion very important information about the creation of these icons emerged (detailed in “Conservation - restoration work on the iconostasis of the Serbian Orthodox church of St. Elijah in Zadar and the problem of multiple coats of paint on the icons of Mihaljol Speranza” Miroslav Zakić, Materials for the study of cultural Monuments of Vojvodina XXVI)