Fresh new complexions for Calasparra Saints
The 2 holy martyrs will be meeting the Virgen de la Esperanza on the 1st May when she comes down into Calasparra.
Calasparra welcomed it's 2 patron saints, San Abdón and San Senén back from a full restoration process yesterday, revealing astonishingly fresh complexions after a good clean up and facial treatment.
The 2 saints were made in 1942, replacing the originals which had been destroyed during the Civil war. Calasparra has had a bit of a rough time throughout it's history, having lost most of the contents during the attacks by the French during the Peninsular war, then the remainder during the Civil war, so virtually all of their sculptures are new.
These were made by the Valencian sculptor, José López Dies and this recent restoration was carried out by Pablo Nieto Vidal.
Although the sculptures are relatively new, they had been repainted and re-varnished several times due to the accumulation of smoke and incense residue, a fairly normal occurrence for this type of piece.
Before work began, the sculptures were X-rayed and submitted to an endoscopic examination to check for woodworm, cracks, fungal infestations or the presence of other bugs which frequently conceal themselves in wooden pieces.
The major issues with these works were internal cracking and peeling polychrome, so the fissures were filled in and stabilised, and the sculptures given a thorough gentle facial treatment, returning them to their original flesh tones, revealing fresher, younger complexions beneath the layers of discoloured varnish and overpainting.
The results are astonishingly different, the saints virtually glowing with fresh faces and a new hair colour.
The saints are permanently located in the Iglesia de los Santos Martíres, which is open for Mass at 8am Monday to Friday and 9am on a Sunday morning, but will leave their church on the 1st May for an encuentro with the Virgen de la Esperanza, who is coming down into Calasparra in a Romería on the 1st May.
She comes down into the town from her sanctuary for the annual confirmations of new members of the church, and then returns at the beginning of June.
This year she will greet the newly restored martyrs in the open air, before heading off to the Iglesia of San Pedro for May.
On the 1st May, the two saints will leave their church at 7pm to meet with the Virgen coming from her sanctuary, her departure being at 5pm, before meeting her and then following her image to San Pedro. They will be on show with the Virgen throughout May, then return to their own sanctuary.
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