Mdina Cathedral Mattia Preti painting restored

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A painting by Mattia Preti in the apse of the Mdina Cathedral has been restored.

The work was inaugurated by Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi on Tuesday evening.

The project which was partly financed by the EU, cost €70,000.

The painting, on the wall of the old church, which existed before the earthquake in 1693, was commissioned to Preti in 1688. It portrays the shipwreck of St Paul. It is considered one of the most loyal paintings to the shipwreck as recounted in the Acts of Apostles.

St Paul is at the centre of the painting looking at the Eternal Father who is sending His angel to console him and assure him that all the 276 people on board the ship would survive.

The painting was extensively damaged over the years and a number of restoration interventions had been carried out.

During the press conference, Auxiliary Bishop Galea-Curmi explained that the cathedral contains the cathedra or the seat of the Archbishop. Mdina served as Malta’s capital from antiquity to the medieval period.

Auxiliary Bishop Galea-Curmi thanked the Ministry for European Affairs for the EU funds which financed the restoration. Mgr Galea-Curmi spoke about the importance of appreciating ecclesiastical heritage .

Administrative Secretary of the Archdiocese of Malta Michael Pace Ross thanked the conservator-restorer at ReCoop.

St Paul’s Cathedral is one of the churches which received funds under the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020.