After more than 40 years of closure due to the Belice earthquake in 1968, and five years of restoration, the Church of San Domenico in Castelvetrano (Trapani), Sicily, has reopened, writes Silvia Donati.
- Italy Magazine
The Church is a jewel of the 16th century, with its rich decoration of stuccos and paintings. It was built in 1470, commissioned by the Tagliavia family, rulers of Castelvetrano, and is located in Piazza Regina Margherita. After the earthquake, the church suffered further damage due to water infiltration.
The first interventions in the '80s allowed for a partial and temporary re-opening. In 2009, thanks to the efforts of Legambiente (the Italian environmentalist organisation) and its campaign Salvalarte (Save Art), with the cooperation of local and Church authorities, the full restoration project began.
The masterful stuccos are the work of Antonio Ferraro da Giuliana and his children. Made between 1577 and 1580, they decorate the presbytery and depict themes of promises, prophecies, and prefigurations of Christ; the decorations culminate in the Tree of Jesse, which features 14 statues that seem to detach from the wall. With the reopening of the church, some of the original paintings, transferred elsewhere in the '60s, are also being returned.
They include a copy of Raphael's 'Caduta sulla via del calvario' (1574), made by Giovan Paolo Fondulli.
Read article: Castelvetrano Church, Jewel of the 16th Century, Reopens (Italy Magazine)