Century-old church statue restored
BRACING sea air may be well and good, but not if you are more than 100 years old and made of plaster.
That’s why fine art restorer Richard McDonald and his two assistants have come to Port Douglas to give the two statues in St Mary’s by the Sea a facelift.
Mr McDonald says it’s a matter of “cleaning, consolidating, filling and painting” the statues of Jesus and Mary.
Aside from a general spruceup, the two statues are also getting a couple of major repairs.
“We’ve been rust-proofing the metal framework in their upper bodies,” Mr McDonald said.
“Everything we do is reversible, to the greatest extent possible.”
The statues, which Mr McDonald estimates were created between 1890 and 1900, were part of the original furnishings when the church was located on the corner of Murphy and Grant Sts.
The biggest job was tracking down the finger of Jesus, which had been consigned to a drawer.
“I carried the finger around in my bag for years,” Port Douglas Restoration Society president Virginia Donovan said.
“Then I put it in a drawer for safe-keeping.
“When we heard the restorers were coming, I couldn’t find it.”
Mr McDonald said the statues were in “reasonable” condition for their age.
The restored statues will be on display in all their glory from this weekend.
Vision coming together: Port Douglas architect Charles Wright
Touch up: Virginia Donovan looks on while art restorers Richard McDonald and Vicki Locke bring Jesus back to life