A painting dedicated to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception displayed in St Andrew’s Chapel at Tal-Qares in Mosta has been unveiled after months of extensive conservation and restoration. The full restoration process on the canvas and the oil painting itself was sponsored by Nectar in line with its core values of social responsibility.
A ceremony was held for the community, benefactors and sponsors during which Raymond Grasso, PRO for Ċentru Pastorali Sant’Andrija delivered a short description of the historical heritage of the chapel, while Valentina Lupo, paintings conservator at Atelier del Restauro, spoke about the various steps undertaken in the restoration. The guests were also addressed by Mons Edgar Vella and Fr Antoine Borg.
“The origins and period of the painting are unknown unfortunately, although it is calculated to be a late 18th century painting from the distinct brown colour and open weave texture of the canvas,” said Raymond Grasso.
Nectar’s Director Roderick Abela said: “The oil painting was in a poor state of conservation and called for an immediate restoration intervention. Nectar immediately responded to the appeal by Ċentru Pastorali Sant’Andrija situated in Tal-Qares area. Now that the painting is fully restored, it will continue to be enjoyed by the present community and by future generations.”
Atelier del Restauro was commissioned with the conservation and restoration of the oil painting. A video showing the different phases of the conservation treatment was also shown during the evening.
Built around 1436 in honour of St Andrew, the chapel was re-built in 1657. In 1693, the then Bishop of Malta Fra Davide Cocco Palmieri conducted a pastoral visit and declared the chapel to have the appropriate facilities to be able to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. The chapel was then affiliated to the Mellieħa Parish in 1916. St Andrew’s Chapel has eventually served under three parishes – Mellieħa, Naxxar and Mosta, all dedicated to the Virgin Mary.