The Menil Collection announced yesterday that the frescoes on loan from the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus, displayed since 1997 at the Byzantine Fresco Chapel on the Menil campus, will return to Cyprus next year after the loan period concludes in February. Menil Director Josef Helfenstein sent a letter to the museum’s supporters about the bittersweet event, detailing the Frescoes’ history.
In 1983, Dominique de Menil had the chance to acquire two 13th century frescoes which had been stolen from their original home in a small votive chapel in Lysi, Cyprus. She bought them on behalf of the Greek orthodox church, paid to have he thirty small pieces put back together, and the church loaned them to the Menil until February 2012.
Future plans for a de-frescoed version of the space-age chapel are in the works but have not been announced.