On Thursday 29th March at the Zejtun Parish Church, Wirt iż-Żejtun has organised its annual activity linked to the Holy Week traditions and religious celebrations.
This year the event consisted of a public interview with the Zejtun born artisan and restorer, Vince Abela. Vince is a wood furniture restorer who has been working in this sector for the last twenty years. After being employed with the Department of Museums and later with Heritage Malta, he now moved to the Office of the President where he is responsible for the maintenance and restoration of the furniture in the presidential palaces.
Vince is also one of the enthusiasts of the Good Friday celebrations and procession at Zejtun. In fact he is the person responsible for the statue of Jesus at the Gethsemane. He has been directly involved in the restoration of a number of wooden bases of the statues, most of which elaborately crafted with wood inlay. In the past years is also crafted new works of art and completed other works. At the moment he is manufacturing a new base for the Judah statue. Last year he restored the artistic cross of the Redeemer statue.
It was through this job that Vince made an important discovery about this cross. When he was restoring the cross, at one of the ends of the cross, after removing a detached wooden part, he discovered the signature of the manufacturer and the date when this work of art was done. The signature was that of Mose’ Dalmas and the date was 7-3-12.
This discovery in fact was the main reason why this year Wirt iż-Żejtun decided to have this event related to this artistic craft. The Redeemer cross celebrated its 100th year since when being crafted.
Besides giving information about this important historical event, Vince spoke passionately about the craft of inlaying and gave detailed explanations not just about the tools and equipment used but also about the different forms and styles of this craft.
This interview was lead by the journalist Fiona Vella and was done in front of a very well focused audience who ere quite eager to listen.