The Dormition of the Virgin

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In the Permanent exhibition wall-painting fragments are presented, from the western wall of the Katholikon of the Monastery of the Koimesis [Dormition] of the Virgin in Delphi. The surviving representations are: the Dormition of the Virgin, the Assumption and the giving of the Girdle of the Virgin Mary to the Apostle Thomas, an angel from the Dormition, Archangels Michael and Gabriel. The Monastery of the Dormition of the Virgin in Delphi was situated on the site of a 6th c. basilica and on the ruins of the ancient Gymnasium, where there was also a Temple dedicated to Demetra (Damatrion). The Monastery was founded in 1743, according to an inscription in the south part of the west wall. In 1898, it was decided that it should be demolished, in order to allow the French Archaeological School to carry out excavations there. According to a testimony by Th. Homolle, then Director of the French Archaeological School the church had at the time all its painting decoration intact. Part of the decoration was transferred in the Byzantine & Christian Museum. These parts are on display in the Museum’s permanent exhibition, in order to present the painting production of the 18th c. and the polymorphism that characterised it, but also to speak of the practice of “cleansing” Classical archaeological sites from Byzantine and more recent monuments, a practice that was very common right up to the first decades of the 20th c.