The sculpture representing the Head of St John the Baptist dates back to the 16th century and the first attribution was to the French artist Pierre Puget even if the fine details and the technique called to mind the Florentine school. Nowadays, this sculpture rests on a carved gilded wooden mural plaque on the wall of the Oratory, on the right-hand side of the altar.
The head of the Saint was carved from a unique piece of white Carrara marble. The sculpture is very detailed, both in the beard, the hair and the expression of the face. The plaque, on the other hand, made in carved wood, is decorated with gold leaf.
The marble sculpture was found to be in a good condition. On the contrary, the wooden plaque was in a bad state of conservation. Both the internal and the external decoration were totally missing. The marble sculpture was separated from the plaque and transferred to the temporary lab of Co-Cathedral. The restoration was finished by March 2017 by the Foundation’s resident marble restorer, Raymond Aquilina, and the in-house conservator Adriana Alescio.