We are all familiar with a difficult start to the week

Last night was not good. There is some different sort of music every night and boy do they play it loud. If it wasn’t for the fact that we have ferocious guard dogs who are let loose at 10pm, i would have gone to a hotel.

Monday morning bright eyed and bushy tailed we arrived at the Palace full of confidence and very positive. How wrong of me. I knew Anna had been on Sunday to flatten a painting (it is looking very good). What I found out was that a student had kindly come in to remove the ply wood from the back of a canvas (it had stuck in some places extremely well), the result surprised me because apart from a considerable new hole, the paint had crumbled and disintegrated in about 7 large areas. Extremely puzzling and quite scary.

I needed time to absorb and understand what had happened so I went on another project which needed strip lining due to limited supplies we were trying to save on the melinex but managed to stick the new canvas to newspaper… we spend some valuable time removing newspaper from the canvas. The final result looked very positive as we left. Let us hope we have a pleasant surprise when we go in tomorrow.

The students were working mainly on the sculpture and one after the other they asked to either repeat the cleaning procedure because they believed that the visible colour was not original; one had found examples of St Anthony’s missing hand to make from scratch, one had cleaned St Gaetano with a scalpel and brought out a much nicer detailed head. So all in all they notice so much already and are presenting their case as to why they should do a specific treatment.

I am thrilled at their progress and I feel privileged to have them as students. Not to mention how lucky i am to have Anna and Joanna who have both accomplished difficult treatments incredibly well.

I was delighted to have a visit from a young priest who is enthusiastic and keen to join the programme. It would be invaluable  if his superiors do give him permission, as it would mean a real asset to the church to have someone with inside knowledge of restoration.

C. has been efficient but rather absent, it was not until 2pm that he shared with me that he had a tummy bug. Inevitable!