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St. John’s Co-Cathedral To Exhibit Centuries-Old Tapestries Restored To Their Former Glory

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After more than 25 years away from the public eye, centuries-old tapestries will be exhibited at Valletta’s St. John’s Co-Cathedral after being restored to their former glory.

Commissioned by Grandmaster Ramon y Perellos in 1697, the tapestry set consists of 29 pieces depicting the Triumph of the Roman Catholic Church, scenes from the life of Christ, and the twelve apostles.

The works of art are majorly based on cartoons by the celebrated artist Peter Paul Rubens and woven in Brussels by the weaver Judocus De Vos. Their ornate design is woven from wool and pure silk making them a true masterpiece of European art.

The delicacy of the tapestries required a complex and time-consuming restoration process, because over time their condition deteriorated, causing several open seams and a loss of silk threads.

The project was carried out by a team of experts at De Wit Royal Manufacturers in Belgium, who carefully cleaned and repaired them, restoring the original colours and designs.

The process took 16 years to complete.

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

The last time these tapestries were exhibited was in 1990, upon the visit of Pope St John Paul II in Malta.

Be sure to use this rare opportunity to witness the masterpieces in person, between 5th May and 24th June 2023, in the Main Nave of St John’s Co-Cathedral.

Tag an art lover who needs to go with you!

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Sam is a journalist, artist and writer based in Malta. Send her pictures of hands or need-to-know stories on politics or art on [email protected]

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