Press Releases


The Cathedral portico will be restored by the end of 2005

11/11/2004 After two years of exhaustive research, work is now beginning to solve the deterioration problems.

11/11/2004 The portico of Santa Maria Cathedral will have recovered all its splendour by the end of next year, once the restoration work, which is beginning now, has finished. To get as far as this phase, researchers have developed an exhaustive study over the last two years concerning the sculptures and polychromes. It was considered to be a pioneer study both in terms of the methodology which was applied and the sheer size of the monumental structure which was analysed.

The results offer a complete X-ray of what the portico looked like at different moments in history. Following the line of the plan to keep the restoration process open to the public, for the next twelve months visitors to Santa Maria Cathedral can observe the cleaning and recovering work being carried out on the portico at first hand. Explanations from the guides will be accompanied by an illumination projection which will show the results and the restoration plan in a particularly graphic fashion.

The process covers three major points: solving the deterioration problems, conserving and maintaining all the layers of colour which have been applied and eliminating the previous restoration attempt, which was done between 1960 and 1967, to therefore recover the magnificent carving work which was hidden by this latest restoration.

Under no circumstances will there be any new polychroming on the portico. However, the spectacular results obtained from the polychrome study have provided so much information that the floodgates have been opened to imaginative solutions without damaging the more ancient remains. In this sense, the Santa Maria Cathedral Foundation is working on a proposal to illuminate the portico with a complex lighting system and therefore recreate the colours which the sculptures could have displayed in different eras.

The portico restoration is one of the essential elements of the Santa Maria Cathedral´s integral recovery along with the architectonic and archaeological interventions. If you would like to know more about the artistic restoration project for the portico, click here.