Xaghra’s wooden statue of the Virgin Mary being restored
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The statue sculptured in wood of the Virgin Mary of the Holy Rosary conserved at the Xaghra parish church is undergoing a conservation and restoration programme, which is led by the established restorer, Manwel Zammit, of Malta.
The statue, the work of the Maltese sculptor Alexander Farrugia of Zejtun, goes back to 1848. It was commissioned by the Xaghra parish for processional functions during festivities dedicated to the Virgin Mary under several titles. It was at one time used during the titular festa of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, on the 8th of September, until the arrival of the current Marseille statue in 1878.
No interventions had ever been made to the statue over the the past 163 years. It still enjoys the original polychromatic hues and colours as applied by the original sculptor.
The programme of restoration consists mainly of cleaning the many layers of soot which has accumulated over the years, conserving the original colours and closing the cracks which developed between the strips of wood that make up the statue.
Photo: Charles Spiteri.