A collection of dazzling silver and gold ecclesiastical artefacts is being exhibited in two old chapels in the quaint village of Balzan.

The highly artistic pieces, that belong to the Balzan parish, are being displayed together with details about the assay marks, the master silversmiths and goldsmiths who made them and the benefactors who bequeathed them to the church.

The exhibition, which will be open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. today and between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. tomorrow, has been organised by the Balzan youth centre as part of their 10th anniversary celebrations.

The two old chapels, St Roque and the Annunciation of Our Lady, are in Three Churches Street, close to the police station in Bertu Fenech Square.

The items on display, some dating back to the 18th century, include chalices, monstrances, gilded missal covers, silver oil lamps and sacred vestments finished in gold embroidery.

Visitors to the exhibition will also be able to view the architectural features of the two chapels, which are open only on special occasions.

St Roque's was built in 1593 following an outbreak of the plague. Victims of that devastating disease were buried in the chapel. The main painting shows saints Roque, Paul and Sebastian, protectors against the plague.

The 400-year-old chapel of the Annunciation, which served as the Balzan parish church till 1655, retains most of its original features.


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