The Nea Moni in Chios, a monument of unique importance, is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to its exceptional architecture and rich mosaic decoration. The Katholikon of Nea Moni, which was built by Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos in the mid 11th century, is an octagonal type katholikon widely known for its exquisite mosaic decorations. Nea Moni is an entire community – with a refectory, kitchens, hostels, shops, cistern, etc. – surrounding the Katholikon or central Church!
ELLET undertook the important restoration work within the monastic complex in three phases:
a/ Restoration of the mid-Byzantine iconostasis.
Professor Ch. Bouras studied and supervised the restoration of the mid-Byzantine iconostasis in the katholikon of Nea Moni. This work was completed in 1979 with the sponsorship of the late Antonis Chandris. The restoration of the iconostasis helped to restore the unity of the interior space and to highlight the vertical axis, both key elements of the monument’s architectural conception.
b/ Restoration of a dwelling and repurposing it as a museum of the Monastery.
In 1978, again with the sponsorship of Antonis Chandris, a small dwelling of the Ottoman period was restored and turned into a museum of the Monastery which is still operating today. Professor C. Bouras prepared the study and supervised the restoration work. He was also responsible for the organisation of the museum display.
c/ Funding of the study for the restoration of the katholikon.
In 1996, with the sponsorship of the Leon Lemos Foundation, ELLET commissioned the architect S. Vogiatzis to prepare a study on the restoration of the Katholikon. Based on this study, which was completed in 1998, the project was included in the 3rd Community Support Framework which made the restoration of the monument possible. To facilitate the restoration project, ELLET, with the sponsorship of the Leon and Aspasia Lemos Foundation, secured the on-site services of the architect and restorer M. Vournous (2005-2007) under the supervision of the 3rd Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities.