JORDAN – Directed by a specialized team from the mosaics workshop in Madaba, the “Living Mosaics” project team recently completed a mosaic mural restoration of old paintings at Al-Huson Church.
Al-Huson Church was built in the end of the 19th century through the efforts of Bishop Adrianus Smets, the parish priest at that time. In 1906 he pursued to decorate the church walls with murals and frescoes and brought in the Dutch painter Piet Gerrits who worked out distinctive designs with the Eastern character of the Middle East specific to Al-Huson and with special designs symbolizing creation, such as: palm trees, angels, doves, trees and river.
In the 1980s, due to natural elements, like humidity and water leaks from the roof of the Church, the paintings were damaged and the colors faded in certain areas. Fr. Nasser Youssef, then parish priest had the walls painted which covered the murals and frescos.
In the years that followed, Fr. Imad Twal was parish priest, who tried to recover the frescoes by a process of peeling off the paint, which turned out to be very expensive because arsenic was mixed with the paint colors and the need for a special equipment for this project. Many structural improvements were made in the Church, including the elevation of the floor. A portion of the mural was removed with the installation of the tabernacle for the Blessed Sacrament in the center of the wall
This year the old murals were refurbished with mosaic frescoes with the full details along the original lines of the painting which added simple aesthetic enhancements to the Church. This restoration work was carried out by the “Living Mosaics” project team, comprised of Iraqi refugees under the supervision of a specialized team from the Mosaics Workshop in Madaba, under the patronage of its owner Miss Raghda Zwaydeh.
The parishioners of Al-Huson donated about 14 thousand Jordanian dinars, which covered the cost of the restoration.
Fr Firas Nasraween