The newly completed project of the restoration of the monumental dome of St George’s was marked formally last Friday 27 December in an evening event at the Basilica.
H.L. Mgr Mario Grech, the outgoing Bishop of Gozo, and Dr Justyne Caruana, Minister for Gozo, were among the distinguished guests.
Ms Valentina Lupo, representing the restoration firm Atelier del Restauro Ltd, explained in some detail the meticulous and painstaking work required by the task, as a result of the serious deterioration that the precious Conti paintings, stained glass windows, stucco, and stonework carving had suffered over the years since their commission in the 1940s.
Largely funded by EU funds, apart from the generous contributions of the parishioners, the project – including also the restoration and conservation of the two Zahra lateral paintings hanging in the Choir – cost around €152,790 and took over twelve months to be completed.
Rev. Archpriest Joseph Curmi spoke about the necessity and urgency of the project as well as about the theological significance of the theme of the paintings inspired by the biblical Book of Revelation, while thanking all those concerned.
Dr Caruana announced the confirmation of another funded project entailing the external illumination of the Basilica.
The historical and social context of the building of the dome was provided by a well researched presentation from Dr Paul George Pisani.
The resident Choir of the Basilica, Laudate Pueri, enhanced the occasion with a number of celebratory works.
The evening was concluded with a reception at the Aula Mgr Giuseppe Farrugia.