North Presbyterian Church / Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church - Table of Contents

North Presbyterian Church / Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
146 West Utica Street, Buffalo, NY 14222

Cleaning God's House
by Dave Condren

Excerpts from July 21, 2002 article in The Buffalo News

Beth Campano and Tracy Dulniak are helping to restore the beauty of the Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation - one square inch at a time.

Working with Q-tip-like cotton swabs, micro-spatulas and fine-bristle artist's brushes, the two art conservators have toiled for three months on the ceiling . . . They are undoing damage to canvas murals and plaster surfaces caused by last year's arson.

"The work was painstaking," said Campano, who heads Great Lakes Art Conservation of Cleveland.

Some of the ceiling areas were so caked with soot and grime that they could concentrate only on the tiny 1-to-4-inch squares they were cleaning, said Campano, who worked with a team in France that restored artifacts from the Titanic.

The transept ceiling escaped serious soot damage b because it was coated with aged, dark, yellow varnish that protected it. The women removed the old varnish, repaired the paint and then applied a new coat of varnish. That project took more than three weeks.

There also have been surprises

For instance, parishioners thought the stars decorating the ceiling over the clerestory windows were gold because of decades of built-up grime. After cleaning they were found to be white.

For most of the work, they used water-based cleaners and solvents mixed in "particular percentages and extremely diluted."

Both Campano, who lives in Cleveland, and Dulniak, of Grand Island, have master's degrees in art conservation from Buffalo State College.

Special thanks for the Rev. Protopresbyter James A. Doukas for his cooperation.

Photos and their arrangement 2002 Chuck LaChiusa
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