Preserved bodies, EU funds and Caravaggio (from TimesofMalta.com)

local_21_temp-1358593188-50fa7ca4-620x348The crypt beneath St Catherine’s parish church, in Żejtun, is a vaulted expanse with a cold slab stone floor. Characterised by silence, the crypt was built in the hole created by the cut stone used to build the church. It is a very humid place and bodies buried there in the past were well-preserved. When the crypt used to be cleaned more than just bones were transferred to the ossuary, according to Fr Gino Gauci. He is coordinating the transformation of the crypt into a visitors’ attraction as part of a wider project to create a heritage trail and museum within the Żejtun church. During a visit by Tourism Minister Mario de Marco yesterday, Fr Gauci recalled his experience as a child accompanying his father when the crypt was still being used to bury parishioners. “It was no miracle the bodies were well preserved. It was just the humidity,” the priest told a bemused minister. Visitors to the church will start the tour from the oratory and move on to the main church by passing through a narrow corridor. Fr Gauci explained that a large portrait depicting the beheading of St Catherine was believed to have been an abandoned sketch of Caravaggio’s beheading ….. READ MORE ON “TIMESOFMALTA.COM”

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