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Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted

This statue was first mentioned on 8 December 1624 as P. Jacques Brocquart S.J. and students carried it in procession in front of the fortress walls of the city of Luxembourg. 1794 it was set up in the former Jesuit church. The statue, three-dimensional, polychrome linden wood, is 0.73 meter high and is from the type of the majestic Immaculata representations. She meets the pilgrim as clothed statue accordingly to a late medieval worship custom.
The Blessed Mother’s statue stands at the centre of every year Marian pilgrimage called “Octave”.

Restoration in 2008

In 500 hours of work, the Luxembourg restorer Muriel Prieur restored in 2008, the Statue of Consolatrix Afflictorum to its original condition. The restoration had become inevitable since the wood and the colours had suffered greatly over the centuries.

3 layers of paint that came from earlier restorations were removed in painstaking and meticulous work. The original colour was exposed, depending on the composition of the ablated layers, with microscope and scalpel or with chemicals. Muriel Prieur had to do a halt before a coat of recent paint because it attacked the face of the linden wood statue more strongly.

During the work, which together lasted with the preliminary investigations about 9 months to complete, interesting findings about the probable origin of the 73 cm high statue could be won. So the restorer was able to determine that the statue, which stands since 1624 in the centre of Marian pilgrimages, possibly originated towards the end of the 16th century. In addition, the style and the carving technique suggests that the sculptor came from the German-speaking country, and not from Belgium, as had long been assumed.

The restoration was financed with an anonymous donation of 25,000 Euros.

Photos: Claudine Bosseler

 
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