Elgin Marbles expert to restore Wrexham church statue

Reporter:

Rebecca Cole

A TREASURED 160-year-old statue has been damaged by heavy rain which seeped through a church roof.

The elegant sculpture immediately catches the eye on entering All Saints’ Church, Gresford and parish residents were sad to learn of the damage it suffered during a rainstorm at the end of the summer.

According to church warden Glyn Rogers, water came through the roof directly above the statue, tannin from the wooden beams mixed with rainwater and left considerable staining on the 160-year-old sculpture.

It is now set to be restored by an expert conservationist.

Mr Rogers said: “We’re almost constantly carrying out repairs to the lead roof and we’ve been up there to see how the leak happened.

“It looks as if a nail which holds the lead in place has broken through the roof and allowed water to stream in.”

The Rev Canon Tudor Hughes, vicar at the church, says is delighted that restoration of the statue has been possible.

He said: “It’s really sad to see the statue in this state as it’s a superb example of Victorian sculpture.

“It’s a real shame that it happened in the first place, but unfortunately roof leaks happen regularly here.”

The statue, which was completed in 1851 by one of Queen Victoria’s favourite sculptors, William Theed the Younger, is called ‘Resignation’ and was created as a memorial to John Williams, of Gwersyllt Park, who died in 1848.

After careful research, the church found Jane Foley, a Welsh expert in restoration who has spent many years working in the British Museum on high-profile projects including the famous ancient Greek classical sculpture, the Elgin Marbles.

She has also worked on monuments damaged by floodwater in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in Florida.

Canon Hughes is confident she will bring the statue back to its former glory.

He said: “Jane is quite skilled, a real expert.

“And the work should only take about a week to complete.”

The Welsh Church Acts Fund has granted £500 towards the cost of the work and anyone who would like to see the finished product is welcome to visit.

See full story in the Leader

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