Friday, January 28, 2011

Oldest known icons of apostles found

The oldest known icons of the Apostles Andrew and John have been discovered in catacombs under the city of Rome and specifically situated beneath an office building in Rome's Ostiense area. The catacombs date back to the 4th century AD.

The paintings were found in the same location where the oldest known painting of St. Paul was discovered last year. These icons are part of a group of paintings around an image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd on the ceiling of what is believed to have been a noblewoman's tomb.

The images of the apostles' heads and shoulders against a deep red background were uncovered after two years of work, Vatican experts stated. The ancient art was revealed by lasers that burned off inches of calcium carbonate, which had accumulated on the paintings over the centuries in the humid chamber without disturbing the paintings. This project, restoration, cost the Vatican 60.000 Euros.

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