Cen­tury-old church statue re­stored

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

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

Photo by RICHARD KOSER

Touch up: Vir­ginia Dono­van looks on while art re­stor­ers Richard McDon­ald and Vicki Locke bring Je­sus back to life

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