Faith & ethics
A detail of the reredos
Restoring a masterpiece
A magnificent 19th decorative screen - or reredos - is to be restored as a crowning glory of St Anne's Roman Catholic Cathedral in Leeds.
The screen to be restored is in the Lady Chapel behind the altar, it depicts St Anne and other saints in gilded niches along with shimmering angels and Mary with the Christ Child.
The reredos was designed by AW Pugin, a candidate as the 19th century's greatest architect, best known for his work on the interior of the Palace of Westminster (the Houses of Parliament). As well as the designs in Parliament he also brought the zeal of a catholic convert and evangelist to a series of astonishing ecclesiastical works.
The reredos in St Anne's
The Leeds reredos is sculpted in wood by the Hull carver and builder George Myers, the two men worked together for many years. Currently the vibrancy of the reredos has been dulled by subsequent repairs and re-painting. Pugin's original colourful vision, designed in 1842, will be restored using an English Heritage grant worth £34,000, the three month project will cost an estimated £85,000 and is part of the Cathedral's £2.5 million renovation.
Dean of Leeds Cathedral, Rev Canon Michael McCreadie says: "Without this grant we would not have been able to undertake this piece of restoration. This revealing of the Pugin reredos in all its original glory will add to the great work of restoration commissioned by Bishop Roche for his Cathedral."
St Anne's Cathedral is one of 24 cathedrals across England receiving funding as part of a new joint scheme from English Heritage and the Wolfson Foundation worth £1.6m this year.
last updated: 28/01/2009 at 16:26
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