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Sacred Hearts Church of Valparaíso opens after restoration (Brs)

The Sacred Hearts Church of Valparaiso reopened its doors to the city after being subjected to a complete restoration, which was needed given its deterioration caused by the latest earthquake and the passing of the years.

The restoration work began on the first days of January 2013 and consisted of repairing cracks and fissures, complete interior painting as well as cleaning and restoration of its facade. 240 million of pesos have been invested, financed equally by the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts and the Program of Support to the Reconstruction of the National Heritage, of the National Council of Culture and Arts.

The reopening was held on August 25 with a Mass celebrated by the Bishop of Valparaíso, Gonzalo Duarte sscc, and concelebrated by Bishop Javier Prado sscc, Bishop Emeritus of Rancagua, and the Provincial Superior of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart, FrAlex Vigueras. Along with Fr. Sergio Perez de Arce, rector of the church, other sscc brothers and sisters also attended the function. Furthermore, it was attended by Minister of Culture, Roberto Ampuero, the mayor of Valparaiso, Jorge Castro, and a great number of faithful.

Despite the significant restoration, the Church of the Sacred Hearts needs to undertake in the future other works to preserve its rich patrimony, deteriorated by the passage of time. Upcoming repairs will be on spaces such as offices, funeral parlor and bathrooms, while in the 2014 it is expected to be restored the 70 stained glass windows of the church, coming from the house William Wailes of Newcastle, one of the most famous stained glass manufactures of England in the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth century.