The Gulbenkian Patrimony – Maria Tereza and Vasco Vilalva Award goes to Funchal

The project for the Conservation and Restoration of the Mudejar Ceilings of Funchal Cathedral, overseen by the Funchal Cathedral Parish, is the winner of the 14th edition of the Gulbenkian Patrimony – Maria Tereza and Vasco Vilalva Award.
06 jun 2022

Out of the nineteen candidates submitted, the Award jury (made up of António Lamas, Raquel Henriques da Silva, Gonçalo Byrne, Luís Ribeiro, Santiago Macias and Rui Vieira Nery) unanimously decided to award the project for the Conservation and Restoration of the Mudejar Ceilings of the Funchal Cathedral.

The Jury correspondingly distinguishes the “exemplary nature of this intervention”, highlighting its “patrimonial, artistic and social relevance”. Furthermore, according to the Jury, “the work of conservation and restoration carried out within the scope of this recovery prolongs mudejar art down through time.”

The examples of mudejar art on the island of Madeira fall within a tradition that traces its roots back to Andalucian Islamic art that was disseminated broadly across the Iberian Peninsula. “The sophistication of the interlacing woodwork”, typically mudejar, “is depicted in all its splendour in this intervention”.

© SRTC/DRC/Ricardo Faria Paulino
© SRTC/DRC/Ricardo Faria Paulino

The restoration project spanned an area of around 1,500 square metres, on which 36 specialists of various different nationalities collaborated, with their work enabling not only the decoding of the modus operandi of the artisans but with the study of the materials also underpinning the most appropriate means for their conservation.

In addition, the Jury unanimously awarded two honourable mentions:

  • Structural rehabilitation and restoration of the Church of Misericórdia de Coruche, owned by Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Coruche, proposed by Conservation Practice – Consultoria em Património Histórico;
  • Restoration of the Marques da Silva Residence, located on Rua Álvares Cabral, no. 103, in Oporto following its proposal by the Franca Arquitectura firm.

The Gulbenkian Patrimony – Maria Tereza and Vasco Vilalva Award, for the amount of 50,000 euros, was first launched in 2007 and annually distinguishes a project of excellence in the field of conservation, restoration, valuation or promotion of Portuguese cultural heritage, whether fixed or moveable.

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