The Society for the Conservation of the Ethiopian Cultural Heritage

Various kinds of documentation


Manual documentation

There are several ways to make manual documentation. One is free copying by linear drawing only, or completed with the exact colours of the original painting. Another easier way is to make a linear copy directly on top of the painting on transparent paper or on plastic film produced to this end, so called Melinex. We did it in the latter ways on a small area of the eastern mural in the northern aisle.

Peder Boellingtoft studying a copy done of the portrait head of one of the equestrian Saints on the eastern wall in the north aisle. Lars Gerdmar locking at the transparent Melinex film on the point of making an attempt to copy on this material.  SCECH  ©


Photographical dokumentation

Photographical documentation constitute an important part of a preliminary examination of conservation in order to scientifically present how taking of random samples are done and its location, as well as to present cleaning tests and inventory of damages.

Bo Wiberg assisted by one of the villagers conduct photographic documentation in the southern
aisle.  SCECH  ©


This part of the examination was done by SCECH’s photographer Bo Wiberg and included ordinary photographs, panoramic photography, i.e. a technique that capture images elongated fields of view, and fisheye photography, by which is achieved photos of extremely wide angels. Exterior and interior photos documenting all parts of the buildings in those three techniques was taken.

Discussion between photographer Bo Wiberg and architect Tadesse Girmay.  SCECH ©


Documentation by film

Big parts of the examination was also documented by film by the filmmaker (whose name we unfortunately have forgotten) belonging to the local cultural heritage agency in Lalibela. He has been documenting this kind of field work in the region of Amhara for decads.

Our filmmaker from Lalibela in action right after the clean off dust of the eastern mural in the
northern aisle.  SCECH  ©


The aesthetic quality of the film alter. But all the same we are here able to follow the examination day by day. Accordingly it is here possible to see big parts of the opening meeting as well as several of the technical moments of the examination.

The filmmaker on his way home.  SCECH  ©


The project in Yimrihanne Kristos that we now hope to get funding for is planned to be the subject of a documentary done by the filmmaker Joakim Demmer for the renowned French-German broadcast channel ARTE. If this come true, due to fund-raising besides the one for the conservation project, the Ethiopian Christian Cultural Heritage in general and especially the art and architecture of this site will be known to a broader Ethiopian and international public.

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Summary and acknowledgement


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