Nine Giuseppe Calì paintings at the Għajnsielem parish church have been restored.

The restoration was commissioned by Archpriest Frankie Bajada and financed by Bank of Valletta.

Fr Charles Vella, who was entrusted with the restoration project, explained that infilling and reintegration were necessary to recover the paintings’ original aesthetic conditions.

“Dating back to the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, these paintings were damaged by tears and fungus infestations. Preventive conservation was also undertaken to minimise future decay and unnecessary treatments. 

Research conducted before the restoration project reveals that Calì applied his techniques through handmade colours consisting of natural minerals.

Among other discoveries, was the word ‘Inglesi’ (English) inscribed on the snake in the titular painting of the Immaculate Conception, a clear sign of Calì’s lack of fondness towards the British, which is also subtly documented in other works of his. 

The other paintings restored were those of the Annunciation, the Assumption, St Andrea, St Anthony, St Paul, The Nativity, Our Lady of the Rosary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The restored paintings are displayed inside the old Għajnsielem Church, and visitors can now admire these artistic gems and connect to the Maltese cultural heritage.

The bank said in a statement the restoration ensures the longevity of these prolific artifacts.

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