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Stone-masons’ plain air revives the glory of Oravský Biely Potok

BY THE END of September, the centre of Oravský Biely Potok, a municipality in the northern region of Orava, already saw the 9th year of the special event, Back to the Biely Potok Stone / Návraty k belopotockému kameňu. Seven Slovak and three Polish stone-mason artists transformed sandstone blocks into sacral statues and reliefs. This unique event strives to revive the famous local stone-mason tradition.

(Source: oravskybielypotok.sk)

BY THE END of September, the centre of Oravský Biely Potok, a municipality in the northern region of Orava, already saw the 9th year of the special event, Back to the Biely Potok Stone / Návraty k belopotockému kameňu. Seven Slovak and three Polish stone-mason artists transformed sandstone blocks into sacral statues and reliefs. This unique event strives to revive the famous local stone-mason tradition.

As early as the 19th century, there were stone quarries in Oravský Biely Potok, and skilled stone-masons produced not just mill-stones, but also whet-stones and tiles, in addition to artwork and crosses, head of the Orava Cultural Centre Miroslav Žabenský told the TASR newswire.

The stone-mason who participated in every year of the event so far, professional Juraj Šinál of Medzibrodie nad Oravou, also brought his daughter who is an art student.

“Wood is suppler, stone requires more laborious work, but its amazing advantage is that it is a material that survives ages,” Šinál said. “Each year, I make images here of individual scenes of the Way of the Cross from sandstone. Our works from the last years adorn the vicinity of local offices and the parish church. We all leave them here happily, as thanks for organising this splendid event.”

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