The Flemish tapesteries at St John’s CoCathedral have gone through a complex 16-year restoration and will be available for public viewing shortly.

The extensive restoration was carried out at De Wit Laboratories in Belgium.

The last time the tapesteries, commissioned by Grand Master Ramon y Perellos upon his election in 1697, were displayed was during Pope St John Paul II's visit to Malta in 1990.

The set consists of 29 pieces depicting the Triumph of the Roman Catholic Church, scenes from the life of Christ and the twelve apostles. The majority of the tapestries were based on cartoons by the renowned artist Peter Paul Rubens and woven in Brussels by the weaver Judocus De Vos, their intricate design woven from wool and pure sil make them a true masterpiece of European art.

The restoration process was complex and very time consuming because over time their condition deteriorated causing several open seams and loss of the silk treads. The project was carried out by a team of experts at De Wit Royal Manufacturers in Belgium. The tapestries were carefully cleaned and repaired, and the original colours and designs were restored to their former glory.

The restoration process was funded by the St John's Co-Cathedral Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of this unique UNESCO World Heritage site.

The tapestries, which will be hung in the Main Nave of the St John's Co-Cathedral, will be displayed between May 5 and June 24.

The exhibition is expected to attract art enthusiasts from all over the world and to be a highlight of the cultural calendar in Malta.

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