Millennia-old Roman art on display at Coimbatore church

Coimbatore: A replica of a 2000-year-old Roman painting was brought to a city church on Sunday as part of a world tour. The painting was lost and found several times since 1400 AD, said father Xavier, priest of Christ The King church located in Kattoor. The painting would be taken to Thailand from Bengaluru, next week.

“This work of art is believed to be painted by Saint Luke in some city in the Eastern part of the world. As per our tradition, it is believed that a merchant from the isle of Crete stole it. After several years, when he arrived in Rome, he handed it over to his friend asking him to return the picture to the church from where he stole it. His friend did not return the painting,” said Father Xavier at Christ the King Church.

Adding that instead the art work exchanged several hands until in December 1855, it reached father Nicholas Mauron, who presented it to Pope Pius IX, asking him to place it in St Alphonsus church where the older church, St Mathew, had stood.

Named Our Mother of Perpetual Help, the art work, which has several messages in it, was restored in 1990 using Polish artists. A replica was also made and that replica has been touring the world since June, 2016. The painting was blessed by Pope Francis in Rome and will return to Rome in 2017.

 As per the priests in Christ the King church, the picture was painted in the Byzantine style which focuses on the spiritual message rather than the visual beauty. “The artist is trying to communicate something more important,” said a priest. There are several symbols in the picture such as the star on Mother Mary‘s veil and the colour of her robe, that indicate that they were royalty as only empresses and emperors were dressed in Blue, Green and Red in those days.

  “The painting would be placed in the church for the whole day and a special prayer would be offered in the evening. On Monday morning, the painting would be taken to Bengaluru from where it would reach Thailand,” he said.

(source: Times Of India)

Have Something to Say? Comment on Facebook

Leave a Response