XVII, 2021, 2

Tomb Stones. A Sad Story | p. 97–106

conservation, deterioration, restoration, tomb stones, worship places


The paper refers to tomb stones inside and outside worship places. There are many causes for their deterioration and especially for the disappearance of a great number of tomb stones. Some of these causes are subjective, some fortuitous and other objective, but inexorable. The main cause for the destruction of tomb stone inscriptions was their position within church pavements, in the spaces especially destined for funerals: repeated diggings for new tombs or for the replacement of pavement have affected the stratigraphy of the edifice and seriously damaged physical integrity. In many cases, tomb stones were taken out of the church, where they decayed, disappeared or were repurposed. Some tomb stones kept inside churches had the same fate. The main cause for their deterioration was their uncertain status, assimilated to that of the components of pavement and not that of constitutive parts of the church’s mobile patrimony. The latter would have required a treatment similar to that of monuments in terms of maintenance / conservation / restoration. The right attitude according to the norms of Christian morals and ethics and leading to the protection of the historic patrimony would be that both monks and lay people ensure by all means that tomb stones are kept where they belong: inside churches.