Mangaluru, Feb 17, 2019: "To conserve these treasured paintings is a meticulous and sensitive,” said Nilabh Sinha, principal director of INTACH-ICI, Art and Material Heritage Division (New Delhi), speaking after inaugurating the restored paintings at the St Aloysius Chapel on February 16, Saturday.
Sinha said, “While restoring age-old paintings, we should have knowledge of the original art work. The restoration works were carried out without harming the originality.” “The old art works are precious and should be conserved for the future,” he stressed.
Silvana Rizzi, from Milan, Italy, a relative of painter Antonio Moscheni said, “The painter must have fallen in love with Indian flowers. Majority of the paintings have a variety of flowers from India. Although Mangaluru has become modern, the flavour of the past should be retained to make the city beautiful.”
The paintings at the Chapel were first restored by specialists from INTACH-ICI, Lucknow, in 1991, under the supervision of Dr Agarwal, the then director of INTACH-ICI. Following his advice that the paintings need to be restored every 20 years, once again, the paintings have been restored.
The entire conservation work has been completed within 18 months, at a total cost of Rs 1.50 crore. The illumination of the paintings was also replaced with special LED lights.
The wall paintings and oil paintings of the chapel were done by Italian Jesuit and painter Antonio Moscheni in 1899, covering a total of 829 sq metres, with exquisite frescoes and canvasses within 30 months. The modernised and relocated museum, "Aloyseum", was also inaugurated on the occasion.