Visiting the Shrine of the Black Madonna of Tindari, we realize that there are two versions of the Madonna . The one on the main altar, with a red and green dress and a golden hat. But, painted on some frescoes or in the souvenir shops, we see a Black Madonna with a white dress and a crown of diadems. Totally different! Why?
History of the statue of Our Lady of Tindari
The arrival of the statue here in Tindari is shrouded in mystery and legend but what we know today is that, around the 12th century, the statue of the Madonna arrived here as we see it today: a block of cedar wood from Lebanon, empty inside with faces and hands carved.
Subsequently, the statue was covered by a canvas structure painted in blue and red.
At the end of the 18th century, however, the structure was further covered, this time by a white cloak embroidered with gold. In addition, the heads of the Madonna and Child were crowned with diadems and a silver lily was added in their hands. They also added black stucco on the faces.
This means that the aspect the statue has had for the last generations is that of a Madonna with a very dark face and with a white baroque dress.
Restoration of the statue of the Black Madonna of Tindari
In 1995, due to the fragility of the statue, it was decided for a very delicate conservative restoration. The restoration lasted 7 months in which all the structures added over the centuries were removed and the original statue was revealed.
You can imagine the surprise of the faithful! In front of that so different effigy, they thought they had changed the statue of the Black Madonna! Little by little, the faithful accepted what is the original image of the statue, but they still remain very attached to the version with the white mantle.
This is the reason why, even today, after so many years, in Tindari there are two Madonna’s.
Let’s take a guided tour of Tindari together and I’ll tell you more about the history of this fascinating place.
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