Fourteen paintings in Mosta Church have been restored, with a total investment of eighty thousand euros.
Four paintings are by the seventeenth century artist, Stefano Erardi and most of the remaining ten are by Giuseppe Cali, considered one of the most important artists of nineteenth century Malta.
Restorer, Paul Muscat, explained that the paintings of Cali Church in the church of Mosta, represent the artist’s artistic evolution.
“You can see the whole spectrum – from the beginning till the end. You can see the transformation of the artist from when he had just come from Rome where is paintings are a bit more academic to paintings which are freer and which reflect the essence of Cali.”
The restorer explained that after the work carried out, there is now confirmation that one painting – located in the Sacristy of the Church -is by Stefano Erardi.
“A lot of the original was lost, but today we can confirm that what was left was really a Stefano Erardi and underwent a lot of damage through no fault of the restorers but because of the conditions it was kept.”
Paul Muscat explained the bad state of many of the paintings, especially in the canvas which in some cases was decayed. He said the outer rim of some paintings had also decayed and over time discolouration had set in because of dark varnish applied in the past.
The conservation and restoration interventions were carried out by Recoop by means of European Union funding.
Minister for European Affairs, Edward Zammit Lewis, talked about the importance of European funds for such a project which is valuable in itself and for the community.
Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds, Aaron Farrugia said that the Curia had benefited by more than two million Euro from European funds through which many churches and works of art have been recovered, which would otherwise have been lost.
The Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea Curmi said the paintings are a reflection of human and Christian values through which we learn to appreciate what really identifies as a society.