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TRAVEL PULSE The Valencian Sistine Chapel by Vicent Fenollar Vicent Fenollar was born in Valencia 32 years ago. He studied business management and economics in Valencia and Chicago. He started his professional career in a bank in Spain, a job that conducted simultaneously with sporadic collaborations in a Spanish newspaper. Since 2012 he lives in Brussels where has been working as a business developer for an international SME. He is fluent in Catalan/Valencian, Spanish, English and French and has a good knowledge of Italian. It has been given the nickname “the Valencian Sistine Chapel” thanks to a Gianluigi Colalucci comment, renowned international expert and chief restorer of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, who baptised the frescoes in the church of Saint Nicholas in Valencia as worthy counterparts of Michelangelo’s Vatican masterpiece. Located and half-hidden in the center of Valencia, far from the bustle of the central Caballeros street, where a narrow passage gives access to the temple, the 15th-Century-Gothic church and Baroque decoration enjoys a new life thanks to an enormous complete restoration, both pictorial and ornamental and architectural, which lasted nearly four years. Dazzle and impress. The frescoes in the church of Saint Nicholas are displayed over an irregular surface of 1,904 square meters of vaults, nerves and columns -in front of 800 square meters of the most famous chapel of the Vatican Basilica -where Valencian artist Dionís Vidal (Valencia 1670- Tortosa 1719) implemented the design conceived by the prestigious painter Antonio Palomino, his mentor. The frescoes have a strong narrative character, as was customary in the counter-Reformist 17th-Century in Spain. The nave is conceptually divided into two parts: one half narrates the life and miracles of Saint Nicholas who alleviated the poverty of a father and the prostitution of his three daughters, giving them anonymous gifts; this event is the origin of the myth of Santa Claus. The other half of the nave tells the story of Saint Peter Martyr. As the restoration was developing, new surprises appeared. A painting of a woman representing Ecclesia Mater which had been hidden for centuries was also restored. Other discoveries have been a self-portrait of Vidal along with his master in the gable end wall, where he painted the evangelists Saint Lucas and Saint Marcos. At a cost of 4.7 million Euros funded entirely by the private Foundation Hortensia Herrero, the Restoration Institute of the Universitat Politècnia de València interdisciplinary team led by professor and researcher Pilar Roig has used more than 6,000 sheets of paper for fixing paints, 10,000 liters of distilled water, 100 kilos of cotton and 500 brushes and has invested more than 41,400 hours of work that have enabled reversing the severe deterioration suffered by these paintings due to degradation of roofs and windows of the nave. The building enters now the phase of preventive conservation or monitoring to ensure the sustainability of the project, su \\X[ؙ\[]]X]Y[[[܈[[][ۈوH]KH\ܘ][ۈ\\[Y[X\HXX\H[\[XYHXZ]Y[ܙH[ \]\[][۝ ]XZ\ \]ܜ\^KYHXH\HZ\܈وH[ H\وZ[X\[X\[HHHZ\܈و[[Xx&\[