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17th ­century Baroque crucifix to be restored

The face of Christ before cleaning.

The face of Christ before cleaning.

A Baroque crucifix dating to the late 17th century is being restored by ReCoop under the guidance of restorer and conservator Agatha Grima.

The crucifix, which hangs in the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament at the church of the Annunciation of the Virgin in Tarxien, is sculpted in wood and polychromed, that is, decorated in different colours. It is traditionally attributed to the school of Melchiorrè Gafà because of particular details, such as the flow of the hair and the facial types. However, the artist remains unknown.

The sculpture is in a structurally stable condition but the wood has specific areas of biological infestation.

The original polychromy was corrupted by numerous layers of varnish and pigment together with embedded dirt, which had completely transformed its original character. There were also areas where the original pigment was lifting.

The conservation treatment includes documentation, consolidation, integration, cleaning and the aesthetic recapture of the original characteristics of the effigy.

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