Restoration projects

The Heritage Conservation Area is the section responsible for the conservation and restoration of the heritage assets the Chapter owns or manages. The HCA therefore deals with the technical management of the movable and immovable assets in the complex of historical monuments. Its role is to develop, implement and coordinate the Preventive Conservation Plan and other specific plans relating to the conservation of assets as well as managing any work carried out on them and acting as the connection between institutions in the process of loaning works of art. Comprising one curator and two expert documentalists, the Heritage Conservation Area is also responsible for cataloguing movable assets, keeping a documentary record of procedures, research activities concerning heritage assets and providing research support services, among other functions.

It is also the body responsible for ensuring optimal implementation of all restoration projects that are carried out at the initiative of the Chapter or motivated by the liturgical role and the state of conservation of the assets. Advised by the Heritage Committee of the Cathedral of Mallorca (comprising representatives from the professional associations of the Balearic Islands), the HCA’s role, in collaboration with the teams that draw up the projects, is to define the criteria for working on and conserving assets, as well as to arrange administrative permits with the competent institutions, prepare preliminary studies, keep a documentary record of all of the restoration process and publicise the results obtained.

Record of interventions

Among the notable restorations carried out in the Cathedral of Mallorca over the last two decades, the following are especially significant:

- Altarpiece of Saint Bernard (2000)

- Baptistry Chapel (2000)

- Interior of the Main Portal (2000)

- Chapterhouse vault (2002)

- Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament (2002–2007)

- Painting of the Delivery of the Keys from the Altarpiece of Saint Peter (2002)

- Corpus Christi Altarpiece (2003–2004)

- Altarpiece of Saint Jerome (2003–2004)

- Altarpiece of Saint Anthony of Padua (2003–2004)

- Tomb of the Marquis of la Romana (2005)

- Sculptures from the Gothic Main Altarpiece (2007–2009)

- Altarpiece of Saint Joseph (2008)

- Painting of Saint Hugh (2008)

- Painting of Bishop Antonio Pérez de Hirias (2008)

- Main Rose Window (2008–2009)

- Almoina Portal (2008-2009)

- Sculpture of the Mare de Déu de la Seu (2009)

- Gothic sculpture canopies (2009)

- Painting of Saint Vincent Ferrer (2009)

- Painting of the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa (2009)

- Lower part of the Trinity Chapel and crypt (2009-2011)

- Ensemble of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary (2009-2011)

- Ceramic and ironwork decoration and cathedra from the Royal Chapel (2010)

- Panel of the Holy Trinity (2010)

- Set of candelabra by Gaudí (2010)

- Main Portal and Mirador Portal (2010-2012)

- Gothic Main Altarpiece (2011)

- Bell tower and cloister (2011-2015)

- Choir stalls, choir and choral galleries (2012-2013)

- Cleaning and stabilising the main organ (2012)

- Baptistry (2012-2014)

- Pulpits (2013-2014)

- Central painting of the Immaculate Conception (2013)

- Exterior of the apse (2013)

- Trinity stained-glass windows (2016)

- Angelic musicians from the chancel (2018-2019)

The Heritage Conservation Area archive conserves all of the documentation relating to interventions in the Cathedral complex’s assets.

Current restoration projects

During 2019, the Cathedral’s tapestry collection is being restored and a comprehensive refurbishment of the Chapel of the Sacred Heart is in process. The next invitations to tender for restoration projects, as well as the criteria for applying, will be published on the website in the "latest stories" section.

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Loans of works for exhibitions

The Cathedral of Mallorca conserves a significant collection of movable assets in a wide range of materials, techniques, epochs and styles: easel painting and paintings on panels, sculpture in wood and stone, tapestries and embroidery, gold and silverware, graphic documents, stained-glass windows, ceramics and anthropological material.

These assets are located throughout the inside of the Cathedral, the sacristy, the Chapter Museum, the Chapter Archive and the repositories. For optimum control and management of the assets, the Heritage Conservation Area inventories and catalogues them.

Given the great historical and artistic interest of the Cathedral’s treasures, they are available for loan for local, national and international exhibitions organised by other institutions.

Protocol and rules for loans

As the owner of a major collection of movable assets distributed throughout the Cathedral building, the Diocese Museum, the Chapter Museum and the Chapter Archive, the Cathedral of Mallorca maintains an active loans policy, which enables it to participate in exhibitions outside its scope and to display works from elsewhere with the belief that these exchanges are an opportunity to foster inter-institutional relationships and increase awareness of heritage.

All loans must comply with the applicable legislation and with the criteria laid down in the Cathedral of Mallorca’s loans protocol.

The loans protocol is a document drawn up and supervised by the Heritage Conservation Area that regulates all procedures relating to the interchange of movable assets between the Cathedral and external museums or institutions, nationally and internationally. This protocol covers the competences of the Chapter as the owner of the assets and of the Heritage Conservation Area as the body responsible for scientific–technical coordination. The movable assets the Cathedral manages are legally regulated by the rules laid down in the Spanish Historical Heritage Act 16/1985 of 25 June, the Historical Heritage of the Balearic Islands Act 12/1998 of 21 December and the Museums of the Balearic Islands Act 4/2003 of 26 March.

Once the Chapter of the Cathedral of Mallorca has approved a loan, it will be conditional on the applicant accepting the terms of the document relating to the general rules and conditions for agreeing to loans. All of the procedures and documentation necessary to formalise the loan, from when the request is made until the loan ends with the return of the pieces loaned, make up the “Loan file”, which is kept in the Heritage Conservation Area’s archive.

Further information can be found in the following documents:

Current loans

During 2019, the Cathedral of Mallorca participated in the following exhibitions:

1. “The hope of the hopeless: Europe and the end of Byzantium”, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venice, Italy. (25/11/18 – 22/04/19).

- Reliquary of the Tunic of Christ (Cathedral Inventory, no. 296)
- Golden bull from Manuel II Palaiologos (Chapter Archive of Mallorca catalogue, Perg-13807).

2. “The Italian Renaissance speaks Hebrew” – Museo Nazionale dell’Ebraismo e della Shoah de Ferrara, Italy (April- September 2019)

- Copies of the Rimonim (Cathedral Inventory, no. 325)

3. “The Renaissance seen from the south: Matera, southern Italy and the Mediterranean from '400 to '500”. Museo Nazionale d’arte medievale e moderna della Basilicata – Palazzo Lanfranchi, Matera, Italy (19/04/19- 19/08/19)

- Corbels showing the evangelists, sculptures attributed to the circle of Guillem Sagrera (Diocesan Museum Inventory, no. 060-064)

4. “Furnishings in 13th–16th century Gothic Mallorca: Everyday life”, Museu de Mallorca. (17/05/19-21/07/19)

- Eucharistic chest (Cathedral Inventory, no. 286)
- Pectoral cross of Bishop Torrella (Diocese Museum Inventory, no. 1229)
- Fragment from the corridor of candles (Diocese Museum Inventory, no. 109)
- Choir book of the Conception (Chapter Archive of Mallorca, musical collection, CC-01)
- Small box (Cathedral Inventory, no. 477)

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Cathedral master plan

The Cathedral of Mallorca Master Plan is the result of the National Cathedrals Plan, approved in 1990, which in turn is the result of the Spanish Historical Heritage Act 16/1985. In 1997 the first collaboration agreement for the National Cathedrals Plan was signed between Spain’s Ministry for Education and the Catholic Church. The Cathedral of Mallorca was one of the 90 cathedrals covered by the first collaboration agreement, and its Master Plan was drawn up between 1997 and 2003.

Between the years 2004 and 2015 a series of works were carried out under the framework of the Cathedral of Mallorca Master Plan, using it as a baseline document to establish the situation of the Cathedral complex and to decide on potential actions to improve its maintenance, study, knowledge and dissemination. Accordingly, the Master Plans became the basic instrument making it possible to comply with many of the objectives of the National Cathedrals Plan in the medium term.

At present, work to update the Cathedral of Mallorca Master Plan is ongoing as it has to comply with the new directives and intervention criteria stipulated by the principal institutions that oversea heritage conservation. This new Master Plan will not just cover aspects relating to the Cathedral’s movable and immovable assets, but the scope of its protection will also extend to the immaterial, musical, scenic, documental, etc. heritage.

Inventory and catalogue of the Cathedral’s movable assets

The Monitoring, Inventory and Catalogue Plan for the Cathedral’s movable assets deals with revising and inventorying all of the assets, as well as monitoring the incoming and outgoing movements of assets. This task is being done using the databases set up as an inventory–catalogue. This plan is currently being updated and improved.

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Preventive Conservation Plan

According to the definition given by the 2017 National Preventive Conservation Plan drawn up by Spain’s Ministry of Culture, preventive conservation is a strategy for conserving cultural heritage using a systematic working method to identify, evaluate, detect and monitor risks of damage to objects, collections and also any movable or immovable cultural asset.

Its fundamental objective is to eliminate or minimise risks by acting at the source of the problems, which is generally in factors external to the assets themselves. Damage or loss to assets can be avoided in this way, as can the need to undertake drastic and costly treatments on the assets.

The Preventive Conservation Plan for the Cathedral of Mallorca is a document that ties in with the Master Plan and is intended to be an analysis document and management tool to facilitate the planning, implementation and coordination of conservation tasks as well as how cultural assets and collections are used. The Heritage Conservation Area is tasked with writing it and then coordinating and supervising the execution of the procedures and protocols for applying the Preventive Conservation Plan.

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Other specific plans

In connection with the Preventive Conservation Plan and Cathedral Master Plan, the Heritage Conservation Area coordinates the tasks that derive from the different specific plans for the conservation of the monumental complex:

  1. Stability plan
  2. Waterproofing plan
  3. Subsoil plan
  4. Pest prevention plan
  5. Internal environmental conditions plan
  6. External environmental conditions plan
  7. Display conditions plan
  8. Plan for moving and handling movable assets
  9. Cleaning plan
  10. Facilities, services and supplies plan
  11. Security plan
  12. Documentation and archiving plan
  13. Research and academic dissemination plan

Plaza de la Almoina S/N
07001 Palma de Mallorca
Islas Baleares. España

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