Oratory of the Crociferi

Oratorio dei Crociferi, 1982-84 This oratory of the Cross-bearers is owned by the Instituzioni di Ricovero e di Educazione (IRE), a charitable welfare organisation with the kind of funding difficulties common to most such institutions. It is a 13th-century building attached to the hospice of the Crociferi and most notable for the cycle of paintings by Jacopp Palma the Younger depicting the history of this religious association. In 1982, the International Crociferi Committee, of which Venice in Peril was a part, was established. The flood of 1966 had gravely damaged the oratory. Restoration of the walls involved the brickwork to a height of three metres, with the insertion of two layers of insulating material. The roof-covering was renewed. A tidewater catchment tank was set under the floor to prevent rising flood water from welling up, and new paving was made in the typically Venetian pastellon technique, following the traces found below the floor that had had to be removed. Work in wood and marble on the wall, ceiling and altar was cleaned and restored, with missing parts integrated where needed. The paintings by Palma Givane were conserved. HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother inaugurated the restoration in 1984.

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