‘Extreme Makeover of St Aloysius College Chapel Paintings by 2019 in Perfection’-INTACH

Spread the love

‘Extreme Makeover of St Aloysius College Chapel Paintings by 2019 in Perfection’-INTACH

 Addressing the media persons during a press meet held at Mangalore Jesuit Educational Society {MJES} Conference hall in the campus of St Aloysis Institutions-Mangaluru, Fr Dionysius Vaz Sj-Rector speaking about about the Restoration of the Paintings of the St Aloysius College Chapel said, ” The bare walls of the Chapel of the Jesuit College of St Aloysius College, Mangaluru built in 1880, were transformed into an admirable work of art by the Italian Jesuit master painter, Antonio Moscheni SJ at the end of the 19th century. Within just two and a half years he completed the work of painting the whole church, covering a total of 829 sq. meters, with exquisite frescoes and canvasses. Running down the high ceiling are a series of panels depicting the life of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga after whom the College is named. The large frescoes on the walls and the ceiling of the side ships portray the life of Jesus. On the upper and lower arches are depicted various saints of the Catholic Church”.

He further said “The paintings are visited and appreciated by thousands of people of all religions from India and abroad. They have become a national and international treasure for our country and for the world. The paintings were badly damaged due to age as well by rain water seeping through the walls, dust and fungal growth. They were restored scientifically by specialists from INTACH-ICI, Lucknow from 1991 to 1994 under the supervision of Dr Agarwal, the Director who also recommended then that the paintings be renovated every 20 years to maintain them.”

“After the passage of more than 20 years of previous restoration, the authorities of the Church contacted INTACH to review the status of preservation of paintings and suggest conservation measures that may be required. A visit was therefore conducted by Nilabh Sinha, Principal Director, INTACH Conservation Institutes (ICI), Art & Material Heritage Division, {who is here for the Press Meet among us} to the St. Aloysius Church, Mangaluru on March 29, 2016 to assess the condition of the paintings. He found several damages and suggested that immediate remedial measures have to be taken to correct them. The restoration work will need about 18 months and will need a budget of around Rs 1,50,00,000 ( One crore and fifty lakh Rupees)” added Rector..

|Since November 2017, the restoration work has already begun. Expert conservators from Delhi have been deputed for undertaking the work, taking help also from the local artists. Nilabh Sinha visits the church regularly to monitor and guide the experts. Some recent visitors from Italy, one of whom is a painter, expressed their satisfaction about the restoration work-for more details about this painter Fr Leo D’souza will narrate. Also more details of the restoration work will be briefed by Nilabh during this press meet” said Fr Dionysius Vaz Sj.

Addressing the media, Fr Leo D’souza Sj, former Rector of St Aloysius Institutions, Mangaluru said, ” Mrs Silvana Rizzi the great grand niece of Antonio Moscheni, who painted the St Aloysius Chapel had visited Mangaluru in February 2018 to have a look at the Paintings. She was was accompanied by her husband Alberto Pezzani, who is a well known painter from Milan-Italy. Pezzani examined the conservation work of the paintings of St Aloysius College, being done by the INTACH under the guidance of Nilabh Sinha, and he was highly satisfied with the conservation work and said that it was very professionally done. So hope the complete restoration of the paintings will be to standard of the original paintings, within the next 16 months”

Addressing the media, Nilabh Sinha said, ” The Indian National Trust for Art and cultural Heritage INTACH was established in 1984 at New Delhi. It was established with the support from the government of lndia to help and act as an aid to the government in preserving the vast heritage of India which the government alone cannot undertake. INTACH is the largest premier non-government and not-for-profit organization which focuses on preserving built heritage, conservation of art and material heritage, undertakes a wide range of educational programmes, documentation of heritage through listings of heritage or intangible cultural heritage in India. It has a wide network of chapters across the country which work on grass root levels creating awareness on preservation of heritage. The Art and Material Heritage division of INTACH or INTACFI Conservation Institutes (ICI), which is undertaking the conservation of paintings at St. Aloysius Chapel, works on scientific conservation and preservation of art forms and has a network of conservation centres across India; it is the largest network of conservation centres in the world.|

Sinha further said, ” Art conservation is science involved in preservation of art. The Art Conservator has to analyze the problems being faced by an art form which is leading to its deterioration. The factors of deterioration of an art form could be in the form of high temperature, relative humidity, dust, pollution, light and several other climatic and human factors which trigger chemical reactions leading to deterioration and decay of art forms. A successful conservation treatment is based on scientific analysis of the materials involved in making of an art form, studying the pattern of deterioration, studying the extent of problems in the art forms and then coming up with a safe treatment procedure which not only retards the phenomenon of deterioration but also prolongs the life of an artifact.”

“The paintings at St. Aloysius Chapel are both wall paintings as well as oil paintings on canvas painted by the Italian Jesuit Antonio Moscheni in 1899. These paintings had suffered tremendous deterioration in the past and were conserved and restored by a team of INTACH from the year 1991 to 1994. After a lapse of approx 25 years, the church authorities again got in touch with INTACH to revisit the chapel and assess. Accordingly a visit was conducted and it was found that although the paintings are in good condition, signs of deterioration have set in and it was just the right time to redo the process of consolation to prolong the life of the paintings. A team of experts from the INTACH Conservation Institute, Delhi is currently undertaking the conservation and restoration of paintings inside the chapel” added Sinha. .

While concluding Nilabh Sinha said, ” Initially we undertook scientific examination to understand the material composition of the paintings, analyze the conservation treatment which was given 25 years back and how good it was holding today, and then devise a conservation methodology to rectify the damages that have occurred in the recent past and bring back the paintings to their original form along with prolonging their life. The current conservation project has been envisaged for a period of 18 months in which all the dust and spot that have settled over a period of time will be removed, previous unscientific restoration (not undertaken by INTACH) will be removed and re-done in a scientific manner, new damages that have occurred in paintings are being treated properly and protection to paintings are being given as and when required. It is being made sure that the conservation treatment shall increase the life”

” With the help of the artists from Mangaluru, and if we get the proper supplies right in time, we can even finish the project before the 18 months deadline. At the moment we are getting all the materials that we need for the restoration, except the Frescoes materials are little hard to find, since the original Frescoes are from Italy used by Moscheni. At present we have started the work from the top portion of the Chapel, and from there we move forward to other sections of the Chapel walls. Also there could be little delay in the work during rainy season, due to moisture that may be created inside, but we will do our best to continue the work without any stoppage of work” added Sinha.

Fr Leo D’souza Sj- Former Rector; Fr Denzil W Lobo sj-Secretary/Treasurer, MJES; Fr Christopher Xavier Sj-Caretaker/Chapel In-Charge; Basu – Local INTACH in charge; and Sushanth Rana- Local INTACH coordinator were also present during the press meet.

Fr Dionysius Vaz Sj- the Rector of St Aloysius Institutions has made a humble request to all the Alumni of St Aloysius Institutions, and also other well-wishers/Philanthropists to make generous contribution towards this Renovation Project of St Aloysius Chapel Paintings, and to call him directly on his mobile number at 9741544347


Extreme Makeover! Restoration of Deteriorating St Aloysius Chapel Paintings

Spread the love