AROUND SLOVAKIA

Archangel Michael returns to his bridge

A RESTORED statue of St. Michael the Archangel was returned to its original place on Michael's Bridge in Bratislava on March 30. Last June, a tree fell on the statue during a night-time storm and completely destroyed it. “It was damaged to such an extent that it could not be repaired; some parts were lost forever,” the SITA newswire was told by one of the statue's restorers, Andrej Baník.

St. Michael returned to the bridge that carries his nameSt. Michael returned to the bridge that carries his name (Source: SITA)

A RESTORED statue of St. Michael the Archangel was returned to its original place on Michael's Bridge in Bratislava on March 30. Last June, a tree fell on the statue during a night-time storm and completely destroyed it. “It was damaged to such an extent that it could not be repaired; some parts were lost forever,” the SITA newswire was told by one of the statue's restorers, Andrej Baník.

Another person involved in the restoration is Ladislav Chamitu, son of the original restorer of the same name, who had made a copy of the original statue in 1984. For that reason a completely new statue of Michael could be faithfully made to the original design.

But the original was not complete either since, according to Baník, an arm was missing. “Because the copy's arm was not preserved either, it had to be made anew, completed by what was missing in the original, and then a LucoPrene form was made. A casting of artificial stone was then made from this form,” he explained.

“The archangel Michael with a sword in his hand symbolically protects the entry into the capital,” Bratislava Mayor Andrej Ďurkovský said at the festive installation of the statue, the TASR newswire wrote.

The sculpture of St. Michael the Archangel shows a figure in Roman military dress with a helmet holding a convex shield with the Bratislava heraldry and initials of Maria, and a sword in his right hand. For some, it symbolises a mythical figure guarding the gate to the Old Town, for others it represents an angel.

Opposite St. Michael stands a statue of St. John of Nepomuk, also known as John Nepomucene, a Czech saint, on a late-Baroque pedestal erected in 1898, TASR wrote.

The statue of St. John was originally erected in 1877 and the statue of St. Michael the Archangel in 1897. In 1984, they were both restored by Ladislav Chamuti Senior, put into storage and replicas installed on the bridge.

The total cost for the restoration of St. Michael the Archangel was €19,252, which was covered by Paming, an organisation that cares for historical monuments and which is partly financed by the state.

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