What treasure was hidden in the Cross of Sant Joan de les Abadesses?
One of the treasures of the Cross of Sant Joan has always been in plain sight, namely its precious materials: silver gilt and wonderful enamels. But it also housed other treasures, concealed until recently, whose value is spiritual rather than material. During the conservation-restoration work carried out in 2015-2016, small sets of relics were discovered hidden inside the upper and lower medallions, bundled in ancient fabrics. One of them is decorated with a beautiful bird motif of eastern origin.
“The hidden treasure. The Cross of Sant Joan de les Abadesses”, is an exhibition-dossier which, in addition to showcasing these spectacular new finds, presents the Cross of Sant Joan, one of the first important examples of Catalan Gothic precious metalwork on an artistic, functional and technical level. It also explains the conservation-restoration work that has been carried out in conjunction with the Catalan Centre for the Restoration of Movable Heritage Objects. Apart from the cross itself, the relics, and the fabrics and parchments in which they were wrapped, the exhibition includes a small selection of reliquaries and enamelled objects that facilitate an understanding of the different aspects addressed.
As part of the 125th anniversary of the MEV, the exhibition also explains the work of a museum: to conserve, research, exhibit and disseminate Cultural Heritage. Many objects housed in the Museum and the work associated with them are also often a “hidden treasure” worth discovering.