The sculptures made by GRANDA for the main altar of the St Mary's Cathedral, Sydneyare already installed in the altar, occupying the sixteen spaces that have remained empty during more than 130 years. The main altar thus recovers the original design of the architect William Wardellthe most outstanding architect of the neo-Gothic movement from the middle of the XIX century who was given carte blanche by Archbishop Polding to carry out the design. "Any plan, any style, anything that is beautiful and great, to the extent of our power."was the only instruction given to the architect.
It consists of sixteen wooden sculptures, hand-carved and polychromedof more than one meter in height, which represent the apostles, St. John the Baptist, St. Paul and the two great prophets, Elijah and Moses..
The sculptures have been exhibitedsince his arrival in Sydney, in the Chapel of the Virgin The cathedral's main entrance to allow visitors to admire these works of art up close before they are installed on the altar.
For 133 years, the spaces where the sculptures are now located remained empty without anyone knowing for sure why. There is a legend who assures that it was the original statues, brought by ship from Europe, that ordered it.
Commissioned by the bishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pellthe realization of the sculptures has been made possible thanks to the generous donations of the following people Friends of the Cathedral, the Australian Catholic University (ACU) and Damian Fogarty of LEDSAFEThe funds necessary for its creation have been provided by the companies that have contributed to its creation.
Since his arrival in 2001, cadernal George Pell has sought to recover the original vision of the Bishop Polding and of the architect Wardell and has supported the restoration, cleaning and conservation of both the exterior and interior of the cathedral, restoring the temple to its former grandeur.
The St Mary's Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Sydney.The cathedral is the seat of the city's Catholic archbishop, Cardinal George Pell. The cathedral is dedicated to Mary Help of Christians, patroness of Australia. It is, therefore, the National Catholic Shrine of Australia.
The cornerstone of the present cathedral was laid by Archbishop Polding in 1868. It was to be a huge and ambitious structure, with a wide nave and three towers. Polding did not live to see the cathedral completed as he died in 1877. The decoration and enrichment of the cathedral continued under the direction of successive architects.
In 2000, with the help of a government grant to commemorate the new millennium, the towers designed by William Wardell were completed. In 2008, the cathedral became the central focus of World Youth Day 2008 and was visited by Pope Benedict XVI..
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