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The insects eat an altarpiece of Vigarny in a church in Burgos

The insects eat an altarpiece of the French sculptor Felipe de Vigarny in Castilla y León. The work, carved in wood in the SIXTEENTH century, stands the altar o

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The insects eat an altarpiece of Vigarny in a church in Burgos

The insects eat an altarpiece of the French sculptor Felipe de Vigarny in Castilla y León. The work, carved in wood in the SIXTEENTH century, stands the altar of the church of Cardeñuela Riopico, a municipality of 128 inhabitants through which passes the camino de Santiago. The piece was performed to one of the chapels of the cathedral of Burgos and sold to the parish of Santa Eulalia more than 300 years ago. From October 2017, a residents ' association promotes initiatives to raise the € 50,000 needed to preserve what has survived of the altarpiece until today.

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13 kilometres from the city of Burgos, in a church that is only open on Sundays for mass at 11, the altarpiece is exhibited with part of its structure affected by woodworm. The piece, which was commissioned to the French sculptor by the canon Gonzalo Díez Lerma in 1523 for his tomb in the cathedral of Burgos, "is one of the productions singular the teacher Vigarny, one of the most important sculptors of the Spanish renaissance", explains René Payo, vice-rector of Culture of the University of Burgos. "Is linked with altarpieces such as the chapel of the Kings [in Granada]," he says.

"In the state in which it is now, has no relevance," says Rosa Tera Saavedra, conservator and restorer of the company Trough, which has analyzed the work. When the renaissance altarpiece was sold in 1750 to the parish of Cardeñuela Riopico, they moved the scenes, their niches and part of the structure, but were placed "without order or discretion". What now stands in the altar of the parish is a collection of six meters high and 5.7 wide, without auction, consisting of original elements and added some baroque that were Vegabet placed to secure the altarpiece. "There are remains of that splendour, but are just remains," explains Tera Saavedra. "The wood is very weak and polychrome, the layers of paint on the wood, in a very bad state," says the conservative.

in order To prevent the deterioration progresses, the residents of the village have been proposed to raise the € 50,000 needed to preserve what there is: to strengthen the assemblies, setting the colorful, clean and harden the wood. Tara Saavedra goes further: "The interesting thing would be to be able to reconstruct the way that might have been the altarpiece in the Renaissance, with a replica of the box in the middle of [The Holy Family, by Sebastiano del Piombo, which remains in the cathedral of Burgos]". But that process is more difficult, points out the expert, and may not be budgeted until you disassemble the whole structure.

"we Want the authorities to get involved because we are going to take," says the president of the Association Pro-Altarpiece

"it Is a little [money] for everything there is to do, but much to our possibilities", pointing to Gloria Burgos, deputy mayor of the village and president of the neighborhood association Pro Altarpiece. The neighbors have opened a bank account to receive donations and deposit the money that they earn by organizing different activities, such as flea markets, with clothes, dishes, or toys to give to the inhabitants of the municipality, or food, or raffles. The campaign had raised about 4,500 euros and expected to reach 6,000 by the end of the year.

Also have touched on all the doors. The commission of Culture of the Provincial council of Burgos states that do not have the game to cover the costs –"is a altarpiece very important, but it is one more than there are in Burgos"–; the Board and the Archdiocese have made them promises, as they say, they expect to materialize; a private company has given to them a ham to raffle off at Christmas. "We want the authorities to get involved a little bit because we are going to take," says the deputy mayor. The neighbors recognize the value of his altarpiece, the only work of Vigarny, that came out of the cathedral. For this reason, Burgos insists: "For the people is a benchmark very large. We don't want to exist".

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