Rare Franciscan frescoes unveiled after restoration
The Convent’s Franciscan frescoes were formally unveiled yesterday following an extensive restoration project undertaken by professional conservator Ainoa Rodríguez Rueda with the support of numerous Gibraltarian entities.
The Friends of Gibraltar funded the project and its Membership Secretary Richard Lord hosted a presentation in the Kings Chapel, where invited guests learnt more about the history, importance and work involved in restoring the frescoes.
The Governor Lieutenant General Edward Davis, the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, the Government Archeologist Dr Kevin Lane and Chairperson of the Gibraltar Heritage Trust Ian Balestrino all attended the event and spoke about the project.
Dr Lane gave a short presentation about the history of the 16th Century Frescos, when Franciscan Monastery was the prime religious establishment in Gibraltar. He noted that when Anglo-Dutch forces captured the Rock in 1704, three friars remained.
Three hundred years ago the Governor of Gibraltar started to reside in the Convent before it was made the official residence in 1728. It was then that the frescoes were covered over by plaster and paint.
The frescoes depict the founder of the order St Francis of Assisi, St Anthony of Padua, St Bonaventure di Fidanza, St Louis of Toulouse, St Berard of Morocco, St Bernardino of Siena and an unknown Saint ELD.
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