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Art-historical treasure lifted in the Hubertus chapel

Lu Scheins Foundation enables cleaning, conservation and restoration

v. l.: Kunsthistorikerin Dr. Birgitta Falk, Dompropst Rolf-Peter Cremer, Diplom-Restauratorin Geraldine Geyer, Willi Braun und Waltrud Scheins (Vorstand der Lu Scheins-Stiftung) und Dombaumeister Helmut Maintz vor dem nun konservierten Wandgemälde, das das Bild der Muttergottes mit dem Martyrium des heiligen Sebastian (l.) zeigt.

Again and again “treasures” are unearthed in Aachen Cathedral or new insights are brought to light, about which there are exciting stories to tell. The latest story is about two late-Gothic wall paintings that – not visible from the outside – were in the process of dissolving into nothingness in the Hubertus chapel. At the beginning of last year, the motifs were only available in fragments and had almost completely faded. Cleaning, conservation and restoration have been on the to-do list of the cathedral building hut for several years. But the financial means were lacking. Thanks to a generous donation from the Lu Scheins Foundation, two employees from the Cologne workshop “Restauratoren Kartäuserhof” were able to start the conservation work.

As the scientific investigation showed, it was high time for this step. The proteinaceous binders of the tempera paintings depicting the martyrdoms of St. Sebastian and St. Erasmus show were almost dismantled. When the work is done, the picture of the Mother of God with the child appears again on the middle wall section. To her right is the Martyrdom of St. Sebastian is represented, and on the other side appears the figure of a bishop. On the other stone tablet, only the scene depicted can be determined from the remains. Two soldiers are about to twist the entrails out of a bishop with a winch; the image of God appears in the clouds. In this scene the martyrdom of St. to recognize Erasmus.

The content of these representations could already be guessed in advance: both pictures refer to the altar of the chapel, which is no longer there. This was namely except St. Hubertus also to St. Sebastian and St. Dedicated to Erasmus.