This large cross, decorated with minutely carved scenes of the Old and New Testament, was used for the benediction of the congregation during the liturgy of the Orthodox Church. Its main body bears episodes from the Great Feasts Cycle, known as the Dodekaorton in Greek, essentially events from the life of Christ and the Virgin, while the foliate ornaments surrounding it are carved with Old Testament narratives and images of prophets and saints. A pair of Greek acronyms referring to the salvation of mankind can be seen on the lateral sides of the cross. The metal base was probably added in the nineteenth-century.
The intern responsible for the first Illuminating Object is Dr Eleni Dimitriadou, who recently completed her PhD in Byzantine art at The Courtauld Institute of Art, and is currently working as a Visiting Lecturer, in addition to her work as research assistant at the British Museum where she is cataloguing Byzantine material.