The Malta Independent 17 February 2020, Monday

St Paul’s Church marouflage ceiling restored through BOV support

Wednesday, 22 January 2020, 15:10 Last update: about 25 days ago

The small church dedicated to St. Paul in Valley Road Birkirkara had the marouflage painted ceiling by Prof Giuseppe Briffa and decorations extensively conserved and restored through Bank of Valletta's support.  The restored ceiling was inaugurated on the 21st January.

The ceiling of the church, dedicated to the conversion of St. Paul, is covered in paintings by Prof. Briffa, illustrating the life of St. Paul. These were painted between 1945 and 1968 using the marouflage technique - where works are painted on canvas and then glued to the ceiling. The conservation and restoration works, lasting almost four years, were entrusted to Atelier Del Restauro.

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'The church's location in a zone of intensive traffic and pollution, added to water seepage and neglect, all had a negative effect on the overall conditions of the paintings,' said restorers, Maria Grazia Zenzani and Valentina Lupo. 'The restoration process included the extraction of salts from between the stone support and the canvas, the consolidation of detaching paint layers and extensive cleaning revealed details and colours which confer the balance and expression of these paintings. Losses were integrated with the latest reversible restoration techniques to ensure that they do not interfere with the original works.'

Church rector Fr Nicholas Doublet celebrated the inauguration of this restoration project. 'We would like to thank our benefactors, as we officially present the extensive restoration works undertaken. This work of art is an expression of that faith in Christ to whom Paul converted our forefathers, a living tradition that has been handed on to us to transmit to present and future generations.'

'Malta's cultural heritage is so rich that a small chapel is also an artistic gem,' said BOV Executive PR and Marketing Charles Azzopardi. 'As a Bank with strong roots in the Maltese community, we have a very strong connection with our heritage and believe it is our duty and responsibility to preserve this heritage for future generations.'


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