Enrique de Arfe's monstrance, considered one of the jewels of the Metropolitan SEO, was removed on Monday, October 19, from the Treasure Room. For seven months it will remain in a conditioned room for restoration and conservation work coordinated by Paz Navarro, curator of the Service of Works of Art and Archaeological and Ethnographic Heritage of the Institute of Cultural Heritage of Spain (IPCE).
The technicians of the IPCE and the company awarded the project, the restoration department of Granda, began on Tuesday, October 20, the dismantling piece by piece, screw by screw, of this work that will recover all its splendor for the next Corpus Christi.
It is foreseen that on May 26 "We will all enjoy the Custody again. On that day it will be restored when the Archbishop presides over the celebration of the Eucharist in the Hispano-Mozarabic rite", explained the head of the Chapter.
These works have involved an investment of 170,000 €, to which must be added another 30,000 € to be invested in the Treasure Room in order to exhibit the Custody of Arfe with a 360-degree view for the public.
This is the first restoration of the Custody in the 21st century. The last one took place in 1981 and was closely followed by Andrés Escalera Ureña, director of the Institute of Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art of the General Directorate of Fine Arts, the institution responsible for that intervention. Then the internal structure of the Custody, until then made of wood, was replaced by an aluminum body, in addition to restoring one by one the 3,801 pieces of gold, silver, iron and bronze that make up the greatest artistic treasure of the Primate Cathedral.
The project will focus on consolidating the structure and cleaning the rust that has appeared in some areas, especially in the lower one, due to two factors. One of them, the passage of time; the other, the ambient humidity to which it was exposed in August 2011 in Madrid, at the Cuatro Vientos aerodrome, when it was moved for the Prayer Vigil presided over by Benedict XVI as part of World Youth Day (WYD).