Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

The Launch of the San Clemente Project

Speaking to guests at the Launch of the San Clemente Project

A small ceremony took place in San Clemente last week.  With prayer and a blessing, we formally marked the beginning of a restoration project for the Basilica and excavations. 

Over the last number of years, it has become apparent that a great deal of work needs to be done in the Basilica and the archaeological complex underneath. Paint is peeling on the walls of the Basilica, the ceiling and clerestory frescos badly need restoration. There are health and safety concerns for the increasing number of visitors visiting the underground area and new entrances and exits are needed.  In this age of multimedia, we would hope to have audio and visuals to help the visitor appreciate the history and art of this wonderful place. These are just some of the areas that call for attention.

Clearly, restoring and developing one of Rome’s great sites is going to be a very expensive affair.  In the past the Italian government have done a lot of work. We approached people in the relevant ministry but to no avail. Next, we contacted some of the big companies who sponsor important restoration projects. There was lots of interest but no immediate promises of help.  Then, friendly donors from the parish of St Clement’s in Chicago, put us in touch with some wealthy American Catholic parties who already help finance Catholic institutions here in Rome. A Fund-Raising Charity called the “Hortus Foundation,” was set up to collect funds for the San Clemente Project.

A gathering of guests at the Launch of the San Clemente Project
A gathering of guests at the Launch of the San Clemente Project

After about a year of organising, funds are now available to start the work which it is hoped will continue over the coming years. As a sort of pilot project, we began with the restoration of a fine 17th-century fresco of the stigmata of St Francis in the Rosary Chapel. This fresco turned out to be a revelation. It is one of the finest frescos of the subject for its time.

In a gathering of architects, engineers, contractors, restorers, and many of the donors and potential donors, we formally began the Project last week by unveiling the site notice on the scaffolding in the centre of the Basilica. What had seemed like an impossible dream this time last year, has now become a reality and there is confidence that the work we hope to achieve will indeed in time be realised.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
WhatsApp
Email
Print

More News Articles

Speaking to guests at the Launch of the San Clemente Project

The Launch of the San Clemente Project

800th Anniversary Mass

A New Hymn for Brigid 1500

Hiberniana logo set against the Black Abbey stained glass window

New Dominican Historical Resource Launched

Br Gerard Timoner III OP

The Master of the Dominican Order is Coming to Dublin!

Three Men Enter the Dominican Novitiate 3

Three Men Enter the Dominican Novitiate