Centuries old statue restored

The restoration team was led by Silvano Acosta, a Tenerife based conservationist

The Catholic See of Tenerife with the Cabildo heritage secion and the Adeje Santa Úrsula parish church have released details of the completion of the restoration of a statue of St Paul, in which he is carrying book of the epistles in the folds of his cloak.

The team charged with the restoration were led by Silvano Acosta, a Tenerife-based restorer and conservation expert, and used a technique to set the original polychrome pieces, using original glues to repair parts of the sculpture manually. The work was delicate as the team didn’t want “to lose materials during the conservation process and worked in very specific zones, never in a general way, on crests and elevated sides”, said the expert. All of the affected parts were reconstructed and cracks were filled in using polyvinyl glues, and the sculpture was cleaned.

 

According to information found in the official archives, the statue of St Paul was located on the main altar piece in the San Francisco Convent (of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St Paul) founded in 1679 by the first Marques of Adeje, Juan Bautista de Ponte Fonte y Pages. The first altar disappeared and was replaced with an 18th century style until 1841 when it was brought to the church in San Antonio Abad in Arona.

According to Acosta, this statue bears “the influence of the house of Martín de Andujar. We are probably looking at a sculpture from his school, perhaps the artist was part of the Garachico School of the time. The style is archaic but wasn’t popular. It would appear to have been inspired by pre-existing models from the time”.

St Paul carries a new-style sword in his left hand, which we see from the 13th Century onwards. This is a double-edged sword alluding, one side, to his martyrdom and on the other, the radical style of his writings.

 

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A promise kept

Adeje’s holy Patron is brought to San Sebastián, keeping a 300 year old promise
This Sunday, April 30th, known in the Catholic Church as Divine Mercy Sunday, is also the day when the people of Adeje keep a 300-year-old promise to their Patron, the Virgin of the Incarnation. The statue of Our Lady is brought from her home in the Santa Úrsula church to her original church in La Caleta.

The pilgrim walk will begin at 9am from the Santa Úrsula church and walk along the traditional mountain path to the ‘Humilladero’ where, according to tradition, the statue was first discovered. After the stop she will continue to the San Sebastián church in La Caleta where there will be a lunch before a return to Adeje town.

This ‘Rogation’ is a tradition that began in the 16th Century, where the Marquis of Adeje, Pedro de Ponte, decided to bring the statue to the town to protect her from marauding pirates along the coast. The residents of the time where not thrilled at the decision, so promised to bring her back once a year to her original home.

The tradition lasted through the years, during which time residents also prayed for her help in ridding the land of a plague of locusts, in combatting famine and illness and more – all of which is recorded in the Libro de Milagros de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación (the Book of Miracles of Our Lady of the Incarnation), which is stored in the parish archives.

The first statue of Our Lady of the Incarnation was found in this zone during the first years of the conquest of Tenerife, when the tradition of sacred worship was introduced to the island.


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Restored 18th Century Painting

cuadro virgen del rosario RESTAURADO

This Friday at 6pm Adeje’s heritage councillor Juan Desiderio Afonso Ruiz has invited the public to attend a special mass in the town’s parish church, Santa Ursula, where a restored painting of the Virgin del Rosario, dating from 1743, will be presented. During the mass the public will also be able to listen to the Baroque Organ.
According to the councillor the work to restore this canvas began a number of years ago and was made possible through a partnership between Adeje council, the regional heritage department and the bishopric of Tenerife. The actual restoration work was carried out by Raquel Trujillo Afonso and Candelaria García Díaz. Historian Carlos Morales has made a study of the work and will present the painting and his findings on Friday. Also present will be Rosario Álvarez, president of the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts and professor of music at the University of La Laguna, and local authorities.