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The Cathedral of Seville allocates approximately fifteen percent of its budget to the conservation, restoration, and inventorying of the Movable Goods of its Historical and Artistic Heritage. This investment addresses the most urgent needs in paintings, sculptures, and altarpieces; gold and silver works, ornaments, choir books, stained glass windows, and furniture.

The state of conservation of the works, their heritage value and the projects of the chapter determine the programming of the actions, either annually or biannually. The chapter covers the entire cost of the work and, on occasions, the restoration of a specific work requires the signing of specific agreements with other institutions.

There are still projects that have not yet been completed. The recently completed restoration of the collection of portraits of the Cathedral of Seville and the Biblioteca Colombina has made it possible to recover works by notable Sevillian painters from the 17th to 20th centuries: Álvaro de Valdés, Joaquín and Valeriano Bécquer, Manuel Cabral Bejarano, Luis Jiménez Aranda, Antonio María Esquivel, Salvador Sánchez Barbudo, Virgilio Matoni and Eduardo Cano de la Peña, among others.

Among the paintings restored in the last decade are the Procession celebrated on the occasion of the consecration of the Sagrario parish in 1662, the Italian panel The Virgin of the Popolo, The Assumption of the Virgin attributed to Valerio Castelli, a canvas of St. Peter attributed to Seghers, the Guardian Angel by Bartolomé E. Murillo or the Dormition of the Virgin by Marcelo Coffermans. In the context of these actions, the recovery of the drawing of the Holy Week Monument, made by Lucas Valdés, Virgin with Child and Angels of the Archbishop’s Palace revealed the signature of Alejo Fernández. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports and the Regional Government of Andalusia have paid for the work carried out on works of great significance due to their connection with the Holy Conqueror of Seville: the Banner of San Fernando in 1999 and one of his swords in 2001. The IPCE, which depends on the Ministry of Culture, has restored the oldest doorways whose preventive conservation program is carried out annually by the Cathedral.

The participation of the Cathedral’s historical heritage in major exhibitions has allowed a significant investment to be made by the requesting institutions, which has also encouraged the signing of other agreements. The restoration of the altarpiece of the chapel of the Evangelists, work of Hernando de Sturmio in 1555, was carried out in the workshops of the IAPH according to the agreement signed with the Ministry of Culture. The integral intervention of the altarpiece of the Purification of the Virgin by Pedro de Campaña will recover another of the most significant works of Spanish painting of the mid-sixteenth century and is paid for with the proceeds of the cultural visit (2008-2010).

The altarpieces of the chapel of the Virgen de la Estrella and the images of the “Cieguecita” by Martínez Montañés were also restored at the expense of the chapter with the proceeds of the cultural visit.

With regard to gold and silver work, the interventions are aimed at the maintenance of the cult trousseau, with objectives and deadlines set each year in the corresponding budget. Among the latest interventions carried out in the textile collection we must mention the mantle of the Coronation of the Virgin of the Kings (2004) and the four scripts of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries restored in collaboration with the Ministry of Defense (2007-2008). The stained glass windows are also subject to constant care. In 1999, the chapter undertook a new multi-year restoration and conservation campaign, including new exterior protection to preserve these fragile works from environmental contamination. This restoration work began with the stained glass windows of Enrique Alemán in the central nave and continues to give priority to the needs of stability and conservation in the Renaissance windows by Arnao de Flandes, the Baroque ones by Juan Bautista de León and the neoclassical ones by Francisco Gutiérrez (1790).

Choral books is another field where restoration is necessary and every year a plainchant booklet is restored. The conservation interventions on the large illuminated volumes, the “giants”, constitute another of the areas of necessary action that had an initial collaboration with the record company EMI, which paid for the restoration of “Giant No. 4”, which has numerous folios with historiated and decorated initials by Pedro de Toledo (1428-1434).