SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain – Spain’s Queen Sofia inaugurated officially on Monday Compostela cathedral’s now completed decade-long restoration project of its Romanesque Portico de la Gloria (Portico of Glory).
Queen Sofia, wife of King Juan Carlos I and mother of Spain’s current monarch Felipe VI, uncovered a plaque inside the cathedral marking this cultural event at Santiago de Compostela, Galicia’s regional capital, after a multimillion, painstaking, 10-year-long restoration project of Maestro Mateo’s masterpiece recovering most of its original polychrome splendor. The cathedral’s main gate dates back to 1211.
Queen Sofia was accompanied by Galicia’s regional president, Alberto Nuñez Feijoo, and by Spain’s minister of Culture, Jose Guirao, among other political, religious authorities and patrons of the arts that financed this restoration project.
“We are still waiting for them to reply, but there is no doubt they do transmit life,” the Galician president said referring to the stone figures of apostles and prophets Maestro Mateo included in his masterpiece.
Prior to the official speeches, Queen Sofia listened to a detailed explanation by Daniel Lorenzo, director of the Santiago de Compostela Foundation, on the process undergone to recover the masterpiece’s original polychrome work.
The Spanish Minister of Culture and Sports also highlighted this restoration project as “an example” of multidisciplinary scientific involvement in the country’s cultural legacy.