Qrendi Statues

Qrendi Statues

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Situated in the southeast of Malta, the village of Qrendi has seven churches and chapels, and several statues adorning the streets and piazzas. Five of these statues were restored by the Restoration Directorate over the course of 2019-2021, namely those dedicated to:

Our Lady of Mercy (Madonna tal-Hniena),

St. Rocco (Santu Rokku),

St. Mary (Santa Marija),

St Anne (Sant’Anna) and

St. Matthew (San Mattew).

Although the statues and their pedestals required minimal conservation interventions, they were nonetheless subject to various degrees of biological growth on their horizontal surfaces (especially the top-most parts where deposits collected over time), as well as chromatic alterations, stone deterioration and vegetation growth.The statues of St. Anna and Our Lady of Mercy were covered with polychrome paint layers which were peeling off, revealing, in the case of the statue of St. Anne, cement rendering underneath as well as powdering of the stone. The statue of St. Rocco had localized hacking and mechanical damage while that of San Matthew, which was the only one void of any rendering, also displayed alveolar weathering as well as pitting and was missing part of the angel’s wing. Many of the statues also had metal inserts which caused staining as well as cracking of the stone

The interventions carried out by the Restoration Directorate involved the manual removal of all superfluous accretions and inserts. This was followed by manual dry brushing to remove unsound render as well as any powdering on the surface of the stone. Incompatible cement repairs and renders were sensitively removed using chisels and hammers without damaging the underlying stone. Plastic repair techniques based on hydraulic lime or else using new stone and piecing these in with carbon fibre dowels were employed to replace missing elements. All open joints were pointed using a hydraulic lime-based mortar and a ‘velatura’ was applied to all exposed stonework. A lime-based paint was applied to rendered areas and all existing finishes were retained.


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