The church of St. Euphemianos is a very small, single-dome, stone building and its interior is decorated with frescoes dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries. The inscription on the bottom of the arch indicates that the temple was dedicated by Lavrentios, monk and abbot of St. Andronikos Monastery. Technically, the Church of St. Euphemianos is a chapel, due to its diminutive size and the fact that it was not the main church of Lysi, there was no priest assigned to it, and services were only held there on special occasions.
The dome of the church is decorated with a fresco showing Christ Pantocrator, the 'All sovereign'. Surrounding the figure of Christ is a double row of angels moving towards the Hetoimasia or empty throne prepared by God the Father for the Second Coming of Christ. The throne is guarded by the Archangel Michael and Archangel Gabriel and two seraphim. The Virgin Mary leads one line of angels to the throne, while John the Baptist leads the other. In the apse, the Virgin is depicted as flanked by the two archangels with a medallion on her breast of the infant Christ, symbolizing the Incarnation of Christ.
The frescoes within the church were maintained in good condition and in 1972 maintenance was undertaken by the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus. Following the 1974 Turkish invasion the frescos were removed, sometime between 1974 and the spring of 1983. The dome fresco with Christ Pantokrator and an apse depicting the Virgin Mary were cut into 38 pieces, and shipped to Germany by Aydın Dikmen, the Turkish art dealer and notorious smuggler, who claimed they originated from an abandoned church in southern Turkey, and prepared to sell them into the European art market. The Department of Antiquities of Cyprus was able to show that the murals were forcibly removed from the church of St. Euphemianos and following lengthy negotiations, it was agreed that ownership of the murals belongs to the Orthodox Church of Cyprus. The 38 fresco fragments were bought by the Houston-based Menil Foundation on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus, the rightful owner of the frescoes. The Menil Foundation then funded a careful restoration of the paintings.References:
The Cloth Hall in Kraków dates to the Renaissance and is one of the city's most recognizable icons. It is the central feature of the main market square in the Kraków Old Town (listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978).
The hall was once a major centre of international trade. Traveling merchants met there to discuss business and to barter. During its golden age in the 15th century, the hall was the source of a variety of exotic imports from the east – spices, silk, leather and wax – while Kraków itself exported textiles, lead, and salt from the Wieliczka Salt Mine.
Kraków was Poland's capital city and was among the largest cities in Europe already from before the time of the Renaissance. However, its decline started with the move of the capital to Warsaw in the very end of the 16th century. The city's decline was hastened by wars and politics leading to the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century. By the time of the architectural restoration proposed for the cloth hall in 1870 under Austrian rule, much of the historic city center was decrepit. A change in political and economic fortunes for the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria ushered in a revival due to newly established Legislative Assembly or Sejm of the Land. The successful renovation of the Cloth Hall, based on design by Tomasz Pryliński and supervised by Mayor Mikołaj Zyblikiewicz, Sejm Marshal, was one of the most notable achievements of this period.
The hall has hosted many distinguished guests over the centuries and is still used to entertain monarchs and dignitaries, such as Charles, Prince of Wales and Emperor Akihito of Japan, who was welcomed here in 2002. In the past, balls were held here, most notably after Prince Józef Poniatowski had briefly liberated the city from the Austrians in 1809. Aside from its history and cultural value, the hall still is still used as a center of commerce.
On the upper floor of the hall is the Sukiennice Museum division of the National Museum, Kraków. It holds the largest permanent exhibit of the 19th-century Polish painting and sculpture, in four grand exhibition halls arranged by historical period and the theme extending into an entire artistic epoch. The museum was upgraded in 2010 with new technical equipment, storerooms, service spaces as well as improved thematic layout for the display.
The Gallery of 19th-Century Polish Art was a major cultural venue from the moment it opened on October 7, 1879. It features late Baroque, Rococo, and Classicist 18th-century portraits and battle scenes by Polish and foreign pre-Romantics.