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Green light to the first phase of restoration of the angels of the Presbytery of the Cathedral
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This morning, the Technical Presentation of the Heritage of the Consell de Mallorca has approved the first phase of the restoration of the set of angels of the presbytery of the Cathedral of Mallorca. This set is integrated by works of invoice, materials and different chronology. Specifically, the approved intervention proposal is the one that has to resolve the restoration of the two fifteenth-century turiferian angels that frame the episcopal chair, the six stone capitals, also of the fifteenth century, and the four columns that surround the altar higher.
On September 4 of last year, the report on the state of conservation and restoration of the angels of the Royal Chapel was presented at the Consell de Mallorca, requesting authorization from the Heritage Commission to initiate the preliminary studies. These consisted of a battery of scientific-technical tests that included the analysis of the pictorial strata and the study of the internal structure by means of radiographic techniques, and the historical-artistic study written by Dr. Mercè Gambús, principal investigator of the Grup de Conservació del Patrimoni Artístic Religiós (UIB).
On May 25, 2018, the restoration project was presented to the Consell de Mallorca, prepared by Xicaranda Conservació i Restauració de Béns Culturals, which has been approved today.
The restoration project proposes, on the one hand, the mechanical and chemical cleaning of the capitals, which are in a good state of preservation, and on the other, the restoration of the two angels. From preliminary studies, coordinated by the same restoration company, the existence in the face area of the original polychrome, underlying a posterior layer made in a reparative action, has been discovered. The intervention will be the maximum respectful of the work, maintaining the original polychromy, which is preserved in an excellent state. In addition, in this restoration intervention will be used an innovative technology that will consist in the reproduction of the three-dimensional volume in real size of the two turliarian angels. On this reproduction, the molds will be removed to create the volumetric reintegrations necessary for the restoration of the pieces.
The two gothic angels - made of polychrome wood and belonging to the circle of Guillem Sagrera and attributed to Huguet Barxa - are part of a larger group composed of four polychrome stone musicians - attributed to the circle of Guillem Sagrera - six stone capitals polychrome, dated in the fifteenth century, and six candelabras designed by Antoni Gaudí in 1904. The chronology of the six angels was between 1427 and 1453, when Jaume d'Oleza i Pont and Catalina Rovira Campfullós donated the six angels on columns for the main altar of the Cathedral, according to his testament. However, the group of angels returned in 1729, when the Baroque presbytery was reformed, to the Oleza family through Nicolau d'Oleza. Finally, in November 1904, Antoni Gaudí requested the delivery of the angels and the columns, within the context of the liturgical reform of the Seu, with the approval of Mariano d'Oleza and the consequent return of the pieces.
It is expected that in a few weeks it will culminate with the presentation, in the Heritage Service of the Insular Council of Mallorca, of the restoration proposal for the four musical angels and of the two columns that frame the episcopal chair, which have the peculiarity of having It was decorated with gilt engravings during the time of Gaudí's restoration and they require a differentiated intervention.