The abbot of Montserrat, Josep M. Soler, and the president of the Diputación de Barcelona, Marc Castells, inaugurated yesterday the restoration carried out during the last year in the neo-Romanesque cloister of the monastery and on the pavement of the atrium of the Basilica of Santa Maria. Precisely in this atrium is where the next month of May is going to install a sculptural piece of four meters of the artist Jaume Plensa.
Although the director of the museum of Montserrat, Josep M. Laplana, did not want to give more details of this work, it is known that it will remain for six months (until November) in the atrium, which is not a compact piece but a perforated iron structure that represents the torso and the head of a girl. The work was modeled on the daughter of a photographer who works with the sculptor and is called Anna Maria. For Father Laplana, "the face of this girl at the entrance to the basilica is a human look towards God."
The works inaugurated yesterday have had a cost of 450,000 euros, financed by the Diputación de Barcelona, which in recent years has already financed the restoration of the bell tower and the library and the rehabilitation of Santa Cecília (later decorated with paintings by Sean Scully).
The neo-Romanesque cloister, built in 1925 by the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, was damaged by floods in 2000 and required the repair of part of the pavement (cement tiles that imitate the old ones have been replaced). The architect Josep M. Sala explained that they have also eliminated humidity and restored some wooden beams. In the atrium, built in the eighteenth century by a military engineer, some steps have been replaced by a ramp, the pavement has been restored, marble pieces have been replaced in poor condition and the sgraffitoes have been cleaned (a part of which are by Josep Obiols).