The Bishopric of Orihuela-Alicante intends to remove Red Heritage List, where it entered last October due to its risk of collapse, to the parish church of Santas Justa and Rufina of the Oriolana city. The rehabilitation of the temple of the patrons of Orihuela -which has suffered several collapses in recent years- is planned to starts in early 2021 once the architectural project commissioned by the Bishopric, which will allow to rehabilitate the Sacristy and the Chapel of Communion, the areas that are in worse condition. The purpose of the intervention is to undertake these two actions that allow the conservation and maintenance of this Property of Cultural Interest (BIC).
The term of execution of the works is six months from the beginning and will involve an investment of about 800,000 euros, which will contribute, mainly, public institutions, including the Orihuela City Council and the Ministry of Culture, although the help of the Provincial Council, as well as the parish itself and the Bishopric will also be requested. Although the person responsible for maintaining and carrying out the necessary works is its owner, the Church, the Bishopric will negotiate the necessary subsidies with public bodies given the patrimonial value of the temple and its protection as BIC. The City Council of Orihuela has already shown its willingness to “help as much as we can,” the mayor of Heritage told INFORMATION, Rafael Almagro, who added that “there is no obligation of the administrations, but it is their responsibility to maintain the heritage.” “We are already collaborating as much as possible by lightening the procedures so that the works go at a good pace,” said the mayor. For his part, the parish priest José Luis Satorre indicated that “the political, administrative and ecclesial will is that we must act now in the church.”
The bishopric has already placed scaffolding and a raised platform in the areas affected by the landslides to secure them and protect personal property. In the case of the Sacristy, the action occurs as a result of the collapse that suffered part of the roof, in 1745, in May, due to leaks. The project includes the demolition of the current vault as well as the cleaning, cleaning and partial demolition of loose materials or those at risk of falling. Some works that will be carried out under archaeological supervision. In addition, the cracks in the vaults and arches, their structural reinforcement, as well as their waterproofing will be sealed. The Communion Chapel also suffers significant degradation due to continuous water seepage, although the most important problems are the cracks in the walls, pendentives and in the vault itself. The project includes the demolition of the covering layer, the placement of a curved tile roof, in addition to sealing the cracks and recovering the interior cladding, including the ornamental and pictorial motifs, and restoring the altarpiece of the main front.
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