Church of Santa Maria Mater Domini


This building had been closed in the 1970s, mainly due to rainwater leakage. Venice in Peril came to the rescue because the monument is in a less frequented part of town and was therefore less likely to attract funding easily. We also wanted to help provide meeting space for the community. This 11th-century church, rebuilt in the first half of the 16th century, is no longer a parish church but the headquarters of the Marian cult and family guidance offices. Work commenced with repair of the roofing, attention being paid to both the major and secondary frames. An insulating sheath was laid down and the pantiles repaired. The window casings of the dormer, nave and presbytery windows were renovated and anti-pigeon screens installed to protect them. The eaves, gutters and lantern, all of Istrian stone, were waterproofed, and missing parts filled in. A complete restoration of the Scoletta, located to the right of the sanctuary, followed in 1984-89, and Venice in Peril paid for the restoration of three works of art, two paintings (The Vision of Santa Cristina by Vincenzo Catena, and Francesco Bissolo's Transfiguration) and a polychrome terracotta relief. Finally, modern lighting and alarm systems were installed in 1988-89. The interior had long suffered from the effects of rising damp. New means were looked at to counteract this and a scientific experiment was carried out using plaster formulated to resist the damp.

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