2180 – A closer look at the two modern archangels at Dochiariou

The first monastery where the ferry calls is Dochiariou. Since 2014 this monastery is enriched with two bronze statues of the archangels Michael and Gabriel. During our last pilgrimage I had an opportunity to take close-ups, en face, of the archangels. They both stand on a large pillar along the pier. The pillar is sculpted in the ancient Greek tradition, with an Ionic capital.

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Michael with his sword, the guardian of Orthodoxy. And Gabriel, the foreteller of the births of John the Baptist and Jesus. It is said that the statues are protecting the avaton, the rule that Athos is forbidden for women. Probably even more important is the fact that the monastery itself is dedicated to these two archangels. Inside the monastery two icons of both of them can be found.

The bronzes are made by Fivos Sargentis (1972), a Greek sculptor who works figuratively, both modern and traditional. He makes sculptures in a broad spectrum. His themes vary between Icarus and Charlie Chaplin.

In my opinion these two moderns statues do not add anything valuable to the Uncesco World Heritage site of Mount Athos. I think the priority should lay in the preservation of the site and not in the creation of new works. Especially not in places where it interferes with the historic values of the monuments, like here where the statues are placed in front of the wonderful medieval monastery that was founded in the late 10th (or early 11th) century.

An exception can be made if the works have a specific artistic value, that enhances the splendour of the architecture of the Holy Mountain. That is not the case here, as far as I am concerned.

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The splendour of the mediaeval architecture in Dochiariou.

Bas Kamps

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3 Responses to 2180 – A closer look at the two modern archangels at Dochiariou

  1. Ruud Verkerk says:

    When in June 2014 on another vist to the Holy Mountain at the first Ferry stop at Docheiariou monastery my eye noticed something completely out of place, two horrible flat columns with an Ionic capital and two bronze statues of Angels, 17e century style.
    These two bronze statues have no connections with the beautifull world of Byzantine art on Mountain Athos.
    Ruud Verkerk

  2. Japetus says:

    A few more pictures of the casting process from the -now removed- page of the sculptor..

  3. Dana says:

    Just one word ugly and out of place

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