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Copy of 16th century painting displayed at Mdina church

The Baptism Of Christ at St Agatha`s church, in Mdina.

The Baptism Of Christ at St Agatha`s church, in Mdina.

A copy of The Baptism Of Christ, a painting believed to have been commissioned by Don Giuseppe Manduca, Vicar General, in 1551, has been donated to St Agatha's church, in Mdina.

The original, on loan from the owner, Notary Joseph Vella Zarb, is at the cathedral museum. It was once in the Manduca family chapel in the old Mdina cathedral.

The copy, by artist Agatha Grima, of Siggiewi, and the gilded frame by Albert Vassallo of Rabat were commissioned by the St Agatha Restoration Fund Committee, a branch of the Mdina Cultural Committee, which had raised funds to restore the chapel and is in the process of embellishing this gem of the late middle ages.

Fund co-chairman John Manduca said the committee had succeeded in raising funds to restore the chapel and to commission copies of two 16th century paintings connected with St Agatha. St Agatha is one of the patron saints of Malta, together with St Paul and St Publius.

The church was first built in 1410 and, after being damaged in the earthquake of 1693, was restored in 1695 to a design by Lorenzo Gafà. It was re-opened by Bishop Fra Davide Cocco Palmieri in the presence of Grand Master Adrien de Wignacourt

St Agatha's church, in Mdina, is owned by the Archbishop's Seminary, Tal-Virtù, whose rector is Canon Anton Gouder, co-chairman of the fund.

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