The Debre Stefanos monastery of Hayq keeps a miraculous triptych called Semait, the one who listens. As part of its veneration the panel had been repeatedly sprinkled with perfume and, in an unfortunate attempt to restore its brightness, coated in varnish which quickly turned dark brown, obscuring the image beneath. This icon was identified by Jacques Mercier as one of the most precious icons of the 15th century still extant. Of particular interest is the representation of several abbots of the monastery. Laurence Morrocco, one of the world’s most distinguished Icon conservers worked on the icon, carefully removing the varnish and traces of perfume, without scratching the paint layer.
In 2006, at the request of His Grace Abuna Atnatewos, bishop of Southern Wollo and the monastic community if Debre-Estifanos of Hayq the Charity installed a museum at Debre Estefanos in order to display to the (male) visitors its treasures. Fortyfive objects were displayed in twelve showcases designed for this purpose and ordered from Dan Technocraft (Addis Ababa). The gospel book of Abuna Iyesus Moa dated1280 and the icon Semayit are among the main exhibited treasures.Back to completed projects