fbpx

When a minute makes a difference

Festival statues Malta

There’s a saying in Italian  that loosely translates to ‘everything you leave is lost’ – ogni lasciata e persa. Determined to keep the number of regrets I have in life to a bearable minimum, I’m a big fan. Walking through early-morning Birgu at the weekend, we decided to take the high road rather than stroll by the water. We came around a corner and while I was busy checking out the decal on the bonnet of a parked car, my friends had spotted another niche with part of a Maltese festival statues procession display sitting on the ground beside it. Two chaps walked up. We got chatting and they invited us in to see their workshop.

Malatese church festival

Back in August a couple of years ago, the island was beset by a freak storm. It was two days before 10 August, the Festa of St Lawrence, and all the festival statues were out in place. The storm wreaked havoc and the statues were damaged. Noel, a printer by trade, is now voluntarily restoring them to their former glory and his work is quite something.

Malta statue restorationMalta church statues

I never gave much thought to how they managed to capture folds in the clothing so accurately but now know that they use burlap. They use everything from paper maché to chalk to fibreglass to make their effigies, mixing the colours to remain as true as possible to the originals and then coating with linseed oil to reflect the natural light. The festivals are quite the spectacle and were this one not at the height of the summer, I might be tempted to drop by.

Malta festivals Malta festivals

Malta festivalNoel learned his trade from a  local master and today spends his free time at the workshop. Once a church on the waterfront, the place, with all its festival statues, still has a latent holiness going on. What a lovely place to work. And to think, had we been just a minute later, the boys would have passed through the gate and locked it. We’d wouldn’t have had the chance to chat and the invitation inside wouldn’t have been issued. What a difference a minute can make.

Malta church statuesMalta church statues Malta church statues

Share:

Never miss a post

Sign up here to get an email whenever I post something new.

More Posts

Zalaszabar, Hungary, again

First-time visitors are easy. For them, everything is new. Repeat visitors are a tad more problematic. Don’t get me wrong. It’s great to see different

Szent György hegy, Hungary

The name Szent György hegy loses its magic in translation. The mundane St George’s hill doesn’t do justice to the beauty of the basalt homeland

Truth from the Cockpit

I miss travelling. I miss planes. And airports. And even RyanAir’s annoying we’re-ahead-of-schedule-but-only-because-we-buffered-the-timetable bugle call. Worse still, it’s taking me longer and longer to conjure

Dining with Pigeons in Southwestern Hungary

Unlike in Irish, the names of Hungarian villages and towns and cities don’t always translate into English. On the odd occasion that they do, they

3 Responses

  1. Just shows that apart from those moments of serendipity , one would never know the wonders that exist behind some closed doors, gorgeous contemplative court yard gardens being another possibility.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: