Preliminary examination of Yimrihanne Kristos

THE EXAMINATION was accomplished October 13-17 2012 by permissions from the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH), Addis Ababa, and by the village council and the ecclesiastical officials in Yimrihanne Kristos (YK). It was conducted by a Scandinavian team and an Ethiopian architect chosen by SCECH specialised in conservation, architecture and engineering. We were assisted by seven clergy and some ordinary villagers, elected by the YK community and church counsils. This collaboration with the locals was for us equally important as the examination as such in accordance with our objectives. Read more: SCECH’s charter 

The way up to the church in the beautiful surroundings of Yimrihane Kristos.   SCECH  ©


The examination began with a long, rewarding meeting were chosen persons from the local community and the parish as well as representatives for the authorities concerned were present. SCECH and the team was introduced by Mr Mengistu Gobezei, archaeologist and priest, deriving from the village and the project presented by Mr Tadesse Girmay, a young architect and member of our team, devoted to the issue of cultural heritage and conservation. Then some of us tried to explain a bit about what the content and the goals are for a conservation and restoration.

Abba Welde Qirqos, Head of the parish, flanked by Karl-Gunnar Olsson, the administrator
of the village and a guard.  SCECH  ©


The meeting was finalized by a warm speech by Abba Welde Qirqos, Head of the parish. He welcomed us and said that what had convinced them all as for the credibility of our team and our project was not least due to the recommendation from a son of the village, i.e. the above-mentioned Mr Mengistu Gobezei.

The church of Yimrihanne Kristos facing south.  SCECH  ©


This gathering and the five intense days of work together with our Ethiopian friends during this examination could be summerized: The people at this place loves their temple as if it was a living part of Christ’s own body and have the deepest understanding for the acute need of taking measures in order to save this one and its priceless adornment assisted by us restorers. The Ethiopian cultural heritage is deeply rooted in the heart of its people and the relationship between piety and art in the village of Yimrihanne Kristos is inseparable, convincing and beautiful.

Abba Welde Qirqos and another priest during the opening appointment.  SCECH  ©


Responsible and participants

Responsible for the examination was SCECH and its project manager Lars Gerdmar. The examination team was made up of five participants (find brief presentations by link below).

Carmen Deas, Painting Restorer: link

Peder Boellingtoft, Painting Restorer: link

Lars Gerdmar, Painting Restorer: link

Tadesse Girmay, Architect: link

Karl-Gunnar Olsson, Civil Engineer: link

Bo Wiberg, Documentary photographer: link


The SCECH’s examination team in front of the church. From left to right: Karl-Gunnar Olsson, Lars
Gerdmar, Carmen Deas, Tadesse Girmay, Peder Boellingtoft.  SCECH  ©


The purpose of the examination was to get the necessary information in order to implement a conservation and restoration of the church building and its pictorial program as well as the royal palace. The evaluation of achieved data will form the basis for a conservation and restoration programme.

A detailed report presenting an inventory of the both buildings and its adornments focused on problems of painting conservation and building restoration, including laboratory results of random sampling, as well as description of required operations and calculation of time needed for the job, will be ready in the middle of February 2013. This one will be available in printed form as well as be possible for institutions in collaborations with SCECH and colleagues in the field of conservation to take part of on our data bas. Read more: The examination report

Below follows a brief illustrated report that presents the most essential contents of the examination. This ends up with acknowledgment and photographs of Ethiopian friends and colleagues from Addis Ababa and the village Yimrihanne Kristos. In order to facilitate the down loading also in Ethiopia, where the inter speed sometimes is slow, this presentation is split up in short parts.


Link to next part:

Ocular and technical examination moment by moment