Story By: Gheorghi Caraseni, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Romanian plumbers have ruined a mural of a saint in a church that is more than 200 years old by making a hole in his groin area to install a boiler.
The mural was painted on the wall at the Church of Saint Nicholas and Saint Andrew in the Romanian city of Targu Jiu in the Oltenia Region of north-western Romania in 1812. It is one of the oldest still standing religious buildings in the city having been founded in 1795.
The mural was made by the local religious leader at the time, Deacon Michael of Targu Jiu, as well as the painter Anghel Vopsitorul, and a third man identified only by his first name of John. The final work was unveiled in 1812.
The current parish priest, who was not named, had reportedly obtained permission for the work after deciding to install a boiler to provide heating for parishioners in the winter months. But it is unclear if the plans submitted revealed where the hole in the wall would be made, and the damage it would cause to the 207-year-old mural.
Local media said the mutilated figure that now has a heating pipe emerging from his nether regions was a saint but did not say which one. It is not clear what was the reason for such a strange place to be picked for the tail-pipe to be set up in but the mismatch is blatant.
The parishioners who turned up for mass were shocked at the way the work had been carried out, with a huge hole made in the mural and then connected to a pipe leading to the new boiler, and posted these images online.
The church was founded in 1795 by a high ranking Eastern Orthodox protopope, Andrei Schevofilax, and his wife Maria, as well as Stanca Slugereasa Crasnaru who was the wife of singer Gheorghe Crasnaru and the local baker Grigorie Crasnaru.
The painting was a popular feature of the church and was restored in 1927 and then again in 1961 by the painter Joseph Keber.
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