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Home Culture Social networks uncover the deterioration of a valuable embroidered cloak of the Virgin of the Macarena of Seville | Culture

Social networks uncover the deterioration of a valuable embroidered cloak of the Virgin of the Macarena of Seville | Culture

by News Room
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A message on social networks raised the eyebrows about the poor condition of the mantle known as the Cisneros cloak, one of the most iconic with which the Virgin of the Macarena is usually dressed, one of the most iconic carvings of Holy Week in Seville. A member of this brotherhood, under anonymity, reported earlier this week that last October, during the cults of the Virgin of the Rosary – another of the members of the brotherhood – the Macarena dressing room appeared closed. It was then reported that there had been a problem with the door due to the rains from Storm Aline, but this brother reported on his social network that, in reality, “they had had to remove the image from the cult” because it was getting wet due to to a large leak and the Cisneros’ mantle came to a bad end”, and that “the Governing Board of Macarena lied.” The cloak was removed from the brotherhood’s museum and was recently re-exposed, visibly deteriorated, according to the before and after images of the fabric that accompanied the publication.

In a brotherhood like the Macarena, with almost 17,000 brothers—more than many Spanish municipalities—spread all over the world, this message caught on on social networks and other profiles quickly joined in—many anonymous as well—recriminating the lack of transparency of the Government Board and its contempt for heritage and offering other versions, all related, yes, to humidity problems – it was not a leak, but some broken fire sprinklers -, to the point that a group of brothers has begun to collect signatures to convene an extraordinary town hall (an assembly that brings together the members of the brotherhood) so that its current leaders can explain what happened.

Until now the brotherhood has avoided clarifying what had happened to the mantle. Asked by this newspaper about the causes of the apparent poor condition and the accusations made on the Internet, La Macarena’s older brother, José Antonio Fernández Cabrero, pointed out that everything was “very clear”, but referred to the communication team, which assured that it was not He was going to respond to the “alleged information” that was circulating and asked for “rigor.” A day later, the Macarena has been forced to officially clarify that “the intervention is planned in the near future and replace the support and embroidery with a new velvet.” The brotherhood explains that the deterioration was caused by “an accident absolutely unrelated” to the entity, which it had not reported because “it intended to begin this process (that of restoration) with discretion and normality.”

“The state of the velvet is irrecoverable”

“Something has happened,” Carlos Peñuela, head of CYRTA, a prestigious Sevillian restoration workshop, acknowledged to this newspaper this Wednesday, which, according to the Macarena statement, advised the brotherhood to carry out the transfer of the embroidery to another: “On social networks everything is exaggerated and there are many people who like to generate alarm.” Peñuela explains that changing support is the only option to save the mantle. “The velvet is in an unrecoverable state,” he says. Now the brotherhood must look for the workshop that is in charge of this task. “This takes time and the piece suffers, but the embroidery is well preserved,” he adds.

This is the same conclusion that four other embroidery workshops that have seen the work in recent months had reached, according to what the program announced last night. The Caller, a reference for information from the Andalusian brotherhood, who explained that it is the same solution that the brotherhood’s restorers had provided. The Andalusian public radio program confirmed the version of the failure in the dressing room’s fire-fighting system, captured by security cameras, which could have affected the back of the virgin, but without damaging the carving, which also had to be reviewed.

The one known as the Cisneros cloak—after the family that donated it—is a work by José Guillermo Carrasquilla, made in 1967 from embroidery on the canopy designed by Juan Manuel Rodríguez Ojeda. The cape was restored in 1995 by the Fernández y Enríquez workshop, in an intervention that also generated great controversy, because the support was modified, from a very characteristic turquoise blue hue, to a green velvet, which is what it currently wears.

“As a heritage conservator with more than 20 years of experience, I cannot offer a clear assessment of whether the mantle is deteriorated based on two photos that have no context and it is not known when they were taken,” explained José de León, heritage conservator. and cultural disseminator. De León wants to draw attention to the origin of the initial information, protected by anonymity. “The Alvise spirit has entered the brotherhoods, everyone believes they have the right to give their opinion on everything,” he lamented.

There are several accounts and groups from which criticism of the Macarena Brotherhood has been made for its alleged lack of transparency, which has then generated responses from the rest of the community of brother Internet users. Many of these profiles are linked to future candidates for big brother, whose elections are held next year and for which Fernández Cabrera can no longer run.

De León, however, is clear: “The brotherhood will be working with its restaurateurs, who are wonderful professionals, and even with the insurance company to assume costs. Restoration work has its time and if the problem is humidity, we have to intervene when certain temperature conditions occur…”

But there is still a long way to go for controversy and the exchange of opinions on social networks. When it is confirmed that the cloak must be restored, the question will be whether it should be returned to its current version or whether it should be returned to the original turquoise. “Brotherhood is surely what he is valuing right now,” says Peñuela.

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