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Title: Restoration of Sarria church
Authors: Vella, Astrid
Keywords: Church of the Immaculate Conception, Sarria (Floriana, Malta) -- Conservation and restoration
Church architecture -- Conservation and restoration -- Malta
Church decoration and ornament -- Malta
Art, Baroque -- Malta -- Periodicals
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: University of Malta. International Institute for Baroque Studies
Citation: Vella, A. (2006, January). Restoration of Sarria church. Baroque Routes Newsletter, 6, 5-7.
Abstract: The process of restoring dilapidated buildings back to their former glory is a concept that fascinates me, so when I saw that Sarria church, one of my favourite landmarks, was being given a face-lift, I couldn't resist going round to take a look at what was being done. Being a virtual 'roundabout church', Sarria is known to the thousands of commuters who drive past it every day, however probably few know that it is the second church to rise on this site. The original one was built around 1571 and funded by Fra Martino Sarria de Navarro which explains why it is known as 'Ta' Sarria'. Built on open ground, as Floriana was not even thought of, this first church was mainly popular with sailors serving on the Order's galleys. This is reflected in the original altarpiece now conserved at the Maritime Museum, a very unusual piece where the Madonna is depicted blessing the Order's fleet assembled beneath her. The maritime connection may have been maintained, as a fascinating link between the old church and the new emerged when the dirt and layers of old paint were stripped away to reveal graffiti of galleons and boats carved into the walls.
Description: This essay was awarded a diploma for Cultural Heritage Journalism by Din l-Art Helwa in 2005.
Appears in Collections:Baroque Routes Newsletter, No.06, 2006

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