Re-dedication of St Aloysius Chapel & Inauguration of Renovated Áloyseum’ Museum on 16 Feb
Mangaluru: A press meet was held at the Mangalore Jesuit Education Society (MJES) Conference hall to brief about the Re-dedication of the paintings of St Aloysius Chapel, Mangaluru; and also about the inauguration of the Renovated College Museum “ALOYSEUM”, which will be held on 16 February 2019 at the Chapel at 5 pm.
Inauguration of the Renovated College Museum “Aloyseum”:
Addressing the media persons, Former Rector of St Aloysius Institutions, and also In-charge of the Museum Fr Leo D’souza SJ said, “Renovated and relocated museum of St Aloysius College will be inaugurated on Saturday, February 16, 2019. The Museum was started in 1913 by the Italian Jesuit Fr Chiapi with minerals, herbarium and a collection of Roman coins, a gift of the Collegio Vieta Italy. It has now been shifted from ‘Red Building’ to its present location close to the Chapel which gives easy access to visitors especially those coming to see the chapel paintings. The new space has been designed by Mr William James from Bengaluru, who is an interior designer and the display of the exhibits has been planned and executed by Museum Curator Ms Kavitha of Mangaluru who has a Masters in Archaeology and a diploma in Museology”.
“The museum has a main hall with five side halls. The main hall has 8 large show cases. The first one displays curios from around the world like a Neolithic stone axe, pieces of the Berlin wall, articles from the Holy Land, a piece of a rock from the arctic etc. The other show cases have brass and bronze items, a collection of lamps, of African artefacts, antique porcelain vases and dishes and a large collection of cameras from the simple of the early times to modern electronic ones. Smaller show cases have some of the 2000 mineral specimens and fossils, rare stamps and currency notes of various countries. Interesting articles Interesting articles like the first generator which was installed in the college long before electric supply was introduced in Mangalore, the first computer are also housed in the main hall together with a large number of radios, gramophones and television sets. One of the side halls has a collection of skeletons including that a whale which was got from Beliapatam near Calicut. The other side hall has the first car to come to Mangaluru” added Fr Leo.
He further said, “In the early days travel was by carriages or on horseback. The horses were tethered to granite posts at the entrance of the High school building. One of these is seen in this section. Rare books and manuscripts including several palm leaf manuscripts, missals as well as vestments used at mass, a Hebrew scroll and other items needing to be kept in air-conditioned environment are housed in the next hall. There is a large collection of domestic and agricultural utensils used in this area in early years There are also a large number of items of local culture which are no longer in use. The present generation of people do not know about their use. These are displayed in a way that the visitors get an idea of their use in former times. Along the side walls is a section of photos of yester years dating back to 1902 as well a photo of the celebration of the first Independence Day at the College”
“The weaponry section has cannons from Tippy Sultan’s time, spears and arrows from Abyssinia. Selected items of antique furniture used in the College, including a desk from 1880 with scribbling and etching done by generations of students on it, are also displayed. All the items are labelled in English and Kannada and it is proposed to have a portable audio-visual guides with longer explanations of the artefacts. One of the halls is an audiovisual room. Our vision is to make the museum a user-friendly source of information and enjoyment for visitors through a proper presentation of a variety of local and international items of edutainment which the college has collected over 130 years. It is proposed to videograph the demonstration of use of the articles of local culture for presentation to the visitors” said Fr Leo D’souza SJ.
Re-Dedication of the paintings of St Aloysius Chapel :
Briefing about the re-dedication of the St Aloysius Chapel paintings, Fr Dionysius Vaz SJ, the present Rector of St Aloysius Institutions said, ” The restored world-class paintings St Aloysius College Chapel will be inaugurated on Saturday, February 16 at 5 p.m. The Chapel will be blessed by Rev Dr Francis Serrao SJ, Bishop of Shimoga. Mr Nilabh Sinha, Principal Director, INTACH Conservation Institutes (ICI), Art & Material Heritage Division, New Delhi, will unveil the commemorative plaque. Mrs Silvana Rizzi, from Milan, Italy, the great grandniece of the painter Antonio Moscheni will be present at the function. The chapel of St Aloysius College of Mangalore was transformed into an admirable work of art by the Italian Jesuit Brother, Antonio Moscheni SJ. He was a proficient painter trained in the famed Accademia Carrara in Bergamo, Italy”
He further said, ” 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. All these paintings were badly damaged by rain water seeping through the walls, dust and fungal growth. The paintings were restored by specialists from INTACH-ICI, Lucknow from 1991 to 1994 under the supervision of Dr Agarwal, the then Director of the INTACH-ICI, Lucknow. Dr Agarwal had told us that the paintings need to be examined every 20 years. Hence at our request Mr Nilabh Sinha, Principal Director, INTACH Conservation Institutes (ICI), Art & Material Heritage Division, New Delhi, visited the Chapel. He gave a status report of the paintings and made suggestions for their conservation. The general condition of the paintings he said is fair in the sense that despite their age, about 140 years, the process of deterioration is slow owing to previous conservation.
“However, signs of deterioration have started to show in almost all the cases; the paint layer is losing adhesion, cracks in the paint layer are present, many paintings show losses in paint layer, tears, bulging, opening of a seam, etc. The time needed for the restoration was said to be 18 months and the estimated cost would be around Rs 1.25 Crores. A team of restorers, made up of specialists in murals and canvasses, from New Delhi were deputed for the work. They set up a Site Conservation Laboratory and started work on the lower side walls till a scaffold having a flat platform was erected for the conservators to stand and work without any accidents” added Fr Vaz.
“The work on the paintings was done after careful study to decide on the treatment needed in each case. The oil paintings were treated without removing them from the ceiling. Nilabh Sinha paid regular visits to study the progress and monitor the quality of the work. An Italian visitor, a painter by profession, had remarked that the restoration work done was very good. The work was completed earlier than planned as more persons were put on the job than planned in the beginning. Hence the work was completed at the end of December 2018. The illumination of the paintings has been redone with special lights which will not damage the pigments or the bonding materials” said Fr Dionysius Vaz SJ. Fr Pradeep Anthony SJ was also present during the press meet.
For further information contact: Fr Leo D’Souza 9845084134