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Simbha

Menil's Byzantine frescoes to be returned to Cyprus

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According to this report from ArtInfo, the frescoes which are currently housed in the Menil Collection's Byzantine Fresco Chapel will be returned to Cyprus next year:

http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/38701/the-menil-collection-to-return-byzantine-frescoes-to-greek-orthodox-church/

The frescoes were restored by Dominique de Menil, but were then found to have been stolen. She offered to return them to their rightful owner, the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus, but the Church allowed them to be on loan to the Menil Collection. According to the Menil's website, these pieces are "the only intact Byzantine frescoes of this size and importance in the Western Hemisphere."

I have hope that the Menil's directors will create something equally awesome for this space in the future.

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In a way it's a shame. The frescoes have a lot better change of long-term survival in Texas than in Cyprus.

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They're in a beautiful setting. I urge everyone who hasn't been to go see them before they're returned to Cyprus in February.

Completely agree. I really enjoy the byzantine chapel and hate to see it go. The whole chapel is a really great spot.

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Aww man! That is very unfortunate, I love the Byzantine Fresco Chapel. It's understandable why they want it returned, but sucks for us. :(

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Bump.

Just wanted to give everyone a chance to know that the Byzantine frescoes will be leaving Houston. Last day to see them will be March 4. Several events are being planned prior to their leaving:

  • February 12, 5;30pm: Performance by the St. Paul's Methodist Choir
  • February 19, 7:00pm: Discussion moderated by Menil director Josef Helfenstein, titled Constructions of Art & Faith: The Byzantine Fresco Chapel and the Menil Collection
  • March 3 (I don't know the time): Liturgy provided by Archbishop Demetrios of America

I urge everyone who has not seen this beautiful space in Houston to go within the next month. These are the largest intact Byzantine frescoes in the Western hemisphere, and they won't be around much longer...

Edited by Simbha

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This is a big loss for Houston. It wasn't just the frescoes, but the building itself is a perfect showcase. That is the best example of religious architecture in Houston.

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This is a big loss for Houston. It wasn't just the frescoes, but the building itself is a perfect showcase. That is the best example of religious architecture in Houston.

Indeed. I'm pretty areligious, and that building moves me. It's also really cool to see how others (more accurately) depict Jesus.

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This is a big loss for Houston. It wasn't just the frescoes, but the building itself is a perfect showcase. That is the best example of religious architecture in Houston.

Indeed. I'm pretty areligious, and that building moves me. It's also really cool to see how others (more accurately) depict Jesus.

I still have hope that the building itself will be preserved and used for a similar purpose. I'd really like to see a museum in Houston dedicated to religious (not just Christian) art works, for example, and I think this could be a great space for such a thing.

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The trouble is that it's such a tiny space. It's absolutely perfect for displaying these pieces, but I don't know what else they could display.

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The Byzantine Fresco Chapel is coming back! Sans the frescos of course..

http://menil.org/phone/index.html

The Infinity Machine

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller:

A new commission for the Byzantine Fresco Chapel

Opening January 31, 2015

The Menil Collection will present The Infinity Machine, a new installation by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller in the Byzantine Fresco Chapel. A married couple and collaborators since the early 1980s, Cardiff and Miller are known for their immersive, environmentally scaled works incorporating sound and video. Commissioned especially for the space, the new work will be the artists’ first mobile. Suspended from the high ceiling, the rotating work will incorporate a variety of objects, as well as illuminated elements and a “sound collage.” The audio component will incorporate new recordings of the interactions of solar winds with the earth’s ionosphere collected by NASA. Because the ions involved resonate within the range of human hearing, they can be translated directly into audible form. The artists and others note that these sounds are modern manifestations of ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras’s “Music of the Spheres,” a theory that all celestial bodies have their own unique harmonies. The project inaugurates a new series of approximately year-long exhibitions in the Byzantine Fresco Chapel.

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Stopped by last week and checked out the installation. It was a pretty fun exhibit centralized in the middle of the dimly lit chapel full of rotating mirrors of all shapes and sizes hanging from the ceiling with solar wind noises playing. It was a very hypnotic experience and I hope to go back and spend more time there when I don't have a lame friend who's in a hurry to beat traffic.

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Stopped by last week and checked out the installation. It was a pretty fun exhibit centralized in the middle of the dimly lit chapel full of rotating mirrors of all shapes and sizes hanging from the ceiling with solar wind noises playing. It was a very hypnotic experience and I hope to go back and spend more time there when I don't have a lame friend who's in a hurry to beat traffic.

550F1F2B-60AF-4C85-804F-332CEB4277F6_zps

Naviguessor took me there two weeks ago. I managed to sneak a little video. Really cool and moving (literally), installation.

Edited by Montrose1100
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