Restoration – Works of Art Given a New Lease of Life
One of the main objectives of The Foundation is to restore and conserve the priceless works of art in St John’s Co-Cathedral and its Museum artefacts. The work involved is extremely specialised, time consuming and expensive, but also vital if such treasures of international importance are to be preserved for the appreciation of future generations.
Restoration of Paintings
The restorations of paintings at St John’s Co-Cathedral, have been made through the initiative of the Foundation, as an ongoing project since the inception in 2001. Every year various paintings are identified to restore and conserve.
Click more to read further on each restoration project:
- St Jerome Writing
- Beheading of St John
- St Charles Borromeo
- St George and the Dragon
- Flagellation of Christ
- St James
- St Francis Xavier
- Assumption of the Virgin
- Coronation of the Virgin
- The Martyrdom of St Lawrence
- The lunette wall painting the allegory of triumph
- Blessed Gerard Tending to the Sick
- The Miracle of the Loaves
- St Louis
- Coronation of the Virgin
Restorations of the Tombstones
The unique floor of the Co-Cathedral consists of around four hundred inlaid marble tombstones dating from the early seventeenth century to the nineteenth century and that are the resting place of some of the most illustrious Knights of the Order coming from different European regions.
All the designs for the tombstones were made by renowned artists and were executed by Maltese craftsmen, making them unique works of art. As time passes, the marble suffers from damage caused by abrasion, cracking and weight, losing in the inlaid marble layer, which are under a priority conservation management plan.
The Foundation employs two full-time marble restores to repair and preserve the tombstones and the marble monuments. The restoration of the tombstones is the main occupation of the in-house marble restorer Jesmond Bartolo, who replaces the missing inland parts with matching marble, using appropriate techniques. All restoration is recorded and documented.
Every year the aim is to restore large or small losses which has occurred with the passage of time, using suitable materials to conserve and restore the original design. The marble floor is cleaned and polished periodically. The restoration is carried out by the marble restorer Jesmond Bartolo, under the direction of Adriana Alescio, the Foundation’s conservator. Further protection of the tombstones is provided by a protective carpet along the tourist route within the church.
Restorations of the Monuments
On the initiative of the St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation all the monuments at St John’s Co-Cathedral have been cleaned and conserved. Click for more information on the restoration and conservation on each of the following monuments.
Restoration of the Artefacts
- Reliquary of the right arm of St John the Baptist
- Ciro Ferri Tondo showing ‘The Beheading of St John the Baptist’
- The Organ of the Oratory
- Lascaris Bell
- The Tapestries
- The Pulpit
- Capella Ardente
- The Choir Stalls and Lectern
- The Clock
- Head of St John the Baptist and the gilded wooden mural plaque
Restoration of the Chapels
The Chapels representing the langues of the Order of St John’s was a major restoration project undergone by the St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation from 2003 till 2015.
Restoration of the Grand Masters Crypt
The Grand Masters Crypt is currently undergoing restoration on the initiative of The St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation.
The restoration of the crypt has been one of the major restoration concerns of the Foundation since 2003 when the Courtauld Institute, London, were brought over to assess the damage which the crypt had suffered over the years. The restoration of the crypt currently taking place is a great challenge on account of the various forms of deterioration it has suffered over the years. Read more…
Restoration of the Facade, Clock and Bell Towers
Restoration works on St John’s Co-Cathedral facade have been completed. The project included the main entrance, sides, belfry, clock and wind vane. This is the first time that the main facade of the co-cathedral underwent such a thorough restoration, which has an area of more than 2,000 square meters.