Wooden figure of the Mother of God in Bardo – the oldest wood sculpture in Poland

Considered one of the main landmarks of the city of Bordeaux in Lower Silesia, this wooden figure of the Virgin Mary is probably the oldest wooden sculpture in Poland. According to experts, it was created in 1060.

Research began in 2015. The layers of paint and gilding that were applied during the last restoration in 1926 were already almost destroyed. Basically – due to the fact that the sculpture was constantly on display for visitors to see. In the course of the work, it turned out that only the upper layers were damaged, and the structure of the tree was in good condition and did not require restoration.

Also, in the process of work, experts had doubts about the age of the sculpture. It was decided to conduct a study based on the decay process of the radioactive element C14.
To do this, experts took two grams of wood from the back of the sculpture. The study itself was conducted in collaboration with experts from Seattle.

The results suggest that the sculpture was completed around 1011 (with a 26-year error probability). However, experts emphasize that this is the year in which the tree was cut down. Considering the process of preparing the wood for the sculpture, it is believed that it was made in 1060.
The study also identified the tree from which the 40-centimeter figure was made. It’s a linden tree.

Thus, it is apparently the oldest wooden sculpture and the oldest figure of the Virgin Mary in Poland.