Twelve 18th Century paintings of the Temple of Ayo Ayo under restoration

Anahi Cazas reports for Pagina Siete:

Technicians from the Ministry of Cultures, in charge of the intervention

Restoration of 12 paintings from the 18th Century of the Temple of Ayo Ayo

HERITAGE paintings presented rips and stains caused by moisture and poor handling. The majority is of Baroque and mestizo style.

2013-01-16 09.11.27 amTwelve colonial paintings from the Temple of Ayo Ayo are restored by a team of specialists from the Ministry of Cultures. Parts were delivered two years ago by people from that town, but work began a few days ago.

“These pictures have a great artistic and patrimonial value because they date back to the 18th century,” explained Roberto Montero, one of the restorers who explained that work began on January 10 and will extend between four and eight months “to treat pieces that require a detailed work”.

Many of the works were painted by anonymous authors. “There are a series of paintings of the Virgin who belongs to a painter from the area of the Lake and by the type of brushstroke and finish could be the school of Leonardo Flores,” Montero said.

The Temple of Ayo Ayo, located 87 kilometers from the city of La Paz, dates from the 18th century and it was declared a national monument by a law passed on January 8, 1945. In recent years, this church has suffered several burglaries of easel paintings as well as parts of the main altarpiece.

The restoration of the paintings is done at the request of the residents of Ayo Ayo Center in La Paz, whose members delivered a part of the material that the technicians will use. The Ministry of cultures will contribute with the rest of the inputs and technical team.

The boxes were delivered in custody at the Ministry of Cultures in 2010. Since that date residents made a follow-up to treatment of parts and also boosted the architectural restoration of the temple.

Baroque and mestizo

The images include three with religious themes that could be a series: San Juan de Dios, Everlasting Father, and a third called Holy Family with San Juan Bautista and the Child.

Other pieces have as protagonists to San Antonio de Padua, San Pedro Apóstol and one Christ of Malta, among others.

In addition, there are a series of three canvases about the Virgin Mary whose titles are: the adoration of the three Kings, the visitation and the circumcision.

Some of the pictures measure 50 by 80 centimeters and others have a dimension of a meter by 80 centimeters. According to Montero, the works belong to the “Baroque and mestizo” styles.

“The 12 canvases presented deterioration effect of wear by the time. In addition, they suffer from stains caused by moisture and tears by poor handling”, detailed, and explained that the most damage is in the pictorial layer.

Montero said that to restore them, first was a photographic record with ultraviolet lights. Then, perform the cleaning and reinstatement of splitting of the holder of the box through the techniques of the cartoning and veiled. Later, a varnish for the reinstatement of the color in the affected sectors of the work will be placed.

I found important that the State in close coordination with the inhabitants of Ayo Ayo protect that national heritage. The news, however, leaves me wondering what happened, if anything, since 2010… why funds aren’t devoted to this instead of “live” presidential activities over TV??!!

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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