Two statues, one dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and the other to St Roque and found at the Franciscan Church of St Mary of Jesus (Ta’ Giezu) in Valletta will undergo extensive conservation and restoration through BOV’s support. The restoration works have been entrusted to Prevarti – Art Restoration and Conservation.
The 19th Century Statue of the Immaculate Conception, by renowned sculptor Xandru Farrugia is a wooden statue and is showing a large number of aesthetical damages that are related to the use and age together with structural damages. Such damages include a large number of abrasions that exist in the gold leaf; large cracks within the gesso and gilding and in the wooden structure causing the statue to become weak and fragile
St Roque is considered to be the protector of those suffering from the plague. Legend says that St Roque was himself infected by the plague but was cured by a dog licking his sores. This is why St Roque is always represented with a dog next to his feet. The statue shows signs of insect attacks, while abrasions and losses are present in the paint layers, showing the wooden base in some places. It seems that the original sculpture of the dog went missing and was later replaced with a dog sculpture made of stone at a later stage.
Miguel Borg, Chief Risk Officer at Bank of Valletta met with Fr Ramon Farrugia, Guardian of the Franciscan Friary and Pierre Bugeja, Director of Prevarti to witness the transportation of the Statues from the Friary to the restorer’s studio.
‘The Church of ‘Ta’ Giezu’ in Valletta’s most famous artefact is the venerated crucifix, however The Immaculate Conception, the entitled Patroness of the Franciscan Friary and St Roque, especially in the times of the recent pandemic, enjoy the devotion of many,’ said Fr Ramon. ‘We are very thankful to Bank of Valletta for supporting the restoration of these two statues, that form part of a larger project that includes the restoration of the church and friary and a number of works of art found within.’
‘This is another restoration project that the Bank is eager to adopt in line with its corporate responsibility and ESG commitments,’ said the Bank’s CRO. ‘Malta’s rich history forms an integral part of our identity, and this project will ensure that these artefacts can be enjoyed by future generations, while perhaps yielding more light on their history through the research effected during the restoration project.’
Issued by Bank of Valletta p.l.c., 58, Triq San Zakkarija, Il-Belt Valletta VLT 1130. Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is a public limited company regulated by the MFSA and is licensed to carry out the business of banking in terms of the Banking Act (Cap. 371 of the Laws of Malta).