Shireburn Software Ltd is marking its 25th anniversary this December by funding the restoration of the monument to Grand Master Nicolas Cotoner in St John’s Co-Cathedral in conjunction with the St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation.
The Directors felt that it was fitting to mark this important milestone in the company’s development through an activity the effect of which will be enjoyed for years to come and contributes to Malta’s heritage.
The sepulchral monument to Grand Master Nicolas Cotoner by Domenico Guidi is one of the most prominent and beautiful monuments in the Cathedral and is found to the right of the altar in the chapel of the langue of Aragon.
Nicolas Cotoner, Grand Master of the Order of between 1663-1680, continued the work on the redecoration of St John’s commenced by his brother, Rafael, and much of the splendour of the Cathedral occurred during his reign including the decoration of the vault painted by the Calabrian artist Mattia Preti as well as much of the carving and gilding of most of the walls.
The remarkable Cotoner monument consists of a pyramidal distribution of figures with a central grouping of triumphal paraphernalia such as arms and trophies which surround the bronze bust of the Grand Master. Above a cherub holds the Cotoner armorial shield whilst the allegory of Fame blows a trumpet in triumph. The sepulchral monument was assembled in the chapel in June of 1686.
The current restoration involves the cleaning of layers of wax which were applied in previous restorations. The wax coatings have darkened over the years due to UV rays and the settling of dust and candle soot. These layers are being removed so as to reveal the original Carrara brilliant white marble beneath
The restoration of the Cotoner sepulchral monument is being sponsored by Shireburn Software Limited in collaboration with The St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation and carried out by the firm of restorers RECOOP who are also assisting in the sponsorship. For many years Shireburn Software’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme has also included support for Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti and Din L-Art Helwa.