Church of the Holy Cross Stations of the Cross


Milan Mrkusich



  • Mosaic


  • Glass tiles


  • 12 panels, each H720 x W680mm

Milan Mrkusich, ‘Stations of the Cross’ (1960) [Station 1: Jesus is condemned to death], Church of the Holy Cross, Henderson, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.

Images: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2021


Milan Mrkusich’s 'Stations of the Cross' were made in Venetian glass mosaic, also called Musital tiles, in the Italian factory of Vetrum. Two of the mosaic stations, 12. Jesus dies on the cross and 13. Jesus' body is removed from the cross (Deposition or Lamentation), “were inadvertently destroyed.” “We cannot even trace photos of the missing Station 12 and 13" church officials have said, "or the original sketches by Milan (Mrkusich)... When questioned, he [Mr Mrkusich] said he lent them [the sketches] to some Irish priest who subsequently departed for Ireland and was never heard of again.”

These works, along with others in the church by Louise Henderson, were salvaged in 2008 and reinstalled as part of a $3 million extension of the Church. They were considered to have exceptional cultural and spiritual value.

In 2018, Holy Cross Parish in Henderson embarked on a $4.1 million project to rebuild and expand its church to accommodate more parishioners. The Auckland Council, in issuing the resource consent, made it a condition that the mosaic stations be retained and restored. The massive project began with the original Milan Mrkusich mosaic depicting the 'Stations of the Cross' being carefully extracted from the walls. The parish asked 'Studio of John the Baptist' artist, Michael Pervan, to supervise the removal of the mosaics and to restore them.

~ text courtesy of Linda Tyler.