A painting by Mattia Preti – ‘Santa Rosalia’ – which is usually hung in the Church of the Immaculate Conception (Sarria Church) in Floriana is to be loaned to the city of Palermo.
Saint Rosalia is the patron saint of Palermo and is believed to have delivered the city from the plague in the late 17th century.
This year, for the first time, the cultural institution of the Royal Palace in Palermo, the Federico II Foundation, is going to organise an exhibition dedicated entirely to Saint Rosalia called ‘Santa Rosalia e la Peste’ (‘Saint Rosalia and the Plague’).
On Wednesday, H.E. the President, as well as Minister for Culture Owen Bonnici, visited the Church of the Immaculate Conception to witness the packing process of the painting before it is sent to Sicily. Also present was Giuseppe Mantella (who was in charge of the restoration of the painting in 2016), Din L-Art Helwa Executive President Maria Grazia Cassar and Director of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Dott. Massimo Sarti.
President Coleiro Preca explained to Newsbook.com.mt that the loan of the painting came about after the President of the Sicilian Regional Assembly, Hon. Gianfranco Micciche, formally asked her to contribute to this international exhibition by granting this painting, in the name of the Republic of Malta; a request which the President acceded to.
Minister Bonnici told Newsbook.com.mt that Malta is “promoting cultural diplomacy in full force” and that the Maltese government believes that culture can be a key to bring people together.
The exhibition will be inaugurated on the 4th September 2018 in the Duke of Montalto Halls of the Royal Palace in Palermo.