RESTORATION / CONSERVATION of 18th Century Colonial Paintings, El Templo de San Francisco El Grande, Antigua, Guatemala Paintings Conservator, K.A. Zahn Curator and project Coordinator, Fayanne Hayes Therese Charbonneau, Conservator Canada Michelle Belloso, Conservator, Guatemala

The focus of this long range project was to restore a series of seven magnificent 18th century paintings contained within the Retablo of the Blessed Virgin Mary situated in the main chapel of El Templo de San Francisco El Grande. Over many decades the seven paintings had become severely darkened with soot due to the daily burning of candles and incense. Through a careful cleaning process each painting was restored to its former beauty so that the community and visitors could view the Retablo as it was originally intended to be seen and appreciated. El Templo de San Francisco El Grande, the oldest and most frequented Cathedral in Antigua, was built in the 16th Century. The city of Antigua is a designated World Heritage site. This project has been made possible with special approval from the Archbishop of Guatemala, his Excellency, most Rev. Archbishop Oscar Julio Vian Morales and Atilio Prandina Molón, Padre of Templo de San Francisco el Grande Santuario del Sto. Herman's Pedro and Norman Muñoz Urizar, Conservator of the City and José Maria Muñoz Alvarez, Conservator, National Council for the Protection of Antigua /Consejo Nacional para la Protección de Antigua Guatemala (CNPAG). We are most grateful for professional guidance and assistance from esteemed paintings conservator, G. Theodore Nightwine, Father Celestino Gutierrez, of St. Jude Catholic Church, Sarasota, FL and Harriet F. Beaubien Head of Conservation / Senior Conservator (archaeomaterials) Museum Conservation Institute, Smithsonian Institution, Marcia Ente, Graphic and video design and production and Jose Rafael Chicojay Diaz, Interpreter and project Assistant. ARTICLES An Altarpiece in Guatemala Gets a New Life by Laura C. Mallonee on July 16, 2015