A Knights-era painting that has just been discovered behind a bricked-up arch at the Museum of Archaeology could shed light on the original decoration of the Auberge de Provence's Gran Salon.

The wall painting, which was discovered during a restoration project, has been described by Heritage Malta as a unique surviving element that could reveal information of the decorative scheme of the hall prior to the early 19th-century.

The restoration project, supported by Bank of Valletta, kicked off in 2017. So far, nearly half of the hall's early 19th-century mural paintings have been conserved. 

Painting behind fireplace, arch

One day restorers came across a bricked-up arch and two fireplaces, likely introduced by the British in the 19th-century. 

As they investigated further, the restorers spotted decorative elements that were completely different from the hall's decorative scheme.

A small section of the arch was removed to assess this artwork, which, although covered in soot, was relatively intact.

The uncovered part depicts a hand holding a trident, an image usually associated with mythology.

The rest of the painting is currently still behind the fireplace shaft and the rest of the arch.

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