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The Great Monstrance of Arfe shines again: restoration of the masterpiece of Spanish goldsmithing

2016-08-07

One of the main attractions of the 2011 WYD in Madrid was the Great Monstrance of the Toledo Cathedral. It was taken to Madrid for the prayer vigil held by Benedict XVI with more than one million youth. On that day, this masterpiece from the Middle Ages survived an unexpected rainstorm that hit the Spanish capital. 

Now, a team of experts has refurbished the piece of art. In order to preserve its originality, they followed the instructions left by a 16th century artisan.

The Monstrance is a very fragile work of art. Its pieces are very small, and handling it requires a surgeon's precision.

It is not just a decorative object, but is still used, so a slight mistake might compromise the whole set.

Built near the end of the 15th century, it carries the Holy Eucharist that each year is taken through the streets of Toledo during the Corpus Christi procession, one of the oldest in Spain. 

However, time takes its toll, and even more so for such an ancient artifact. That is why it has undergone many restorations, with the latest one in 1981.

The Archdiocese of Toledo entrusted the Granda workshop with the job. They have strengthened the inner wooden structure, which was severely worn down. They have also welded broken parts and replaced some rusty nuts and bolts.

With these adjustments, the Monstrance will look its best, yet again, as it parades every year throughout the streets of Toledo.


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