One of the biggest mosaics of its kind in Europe is to be unveiled during the 12 noon Mass at Our Lady’s Basilica at Knock Shrine this Sunday (February 28 ). The impressive artwork, measuring 14 metres x 14 metres, is made up of more than 1.5 million individual pieces of mosaic and depicts in great detail the Apparition at Knock in 1879, as described by 15 ordinary villagers who witnessed the extraordinary vision.
The mosaic was illustrated by the famous Irish illustrator and artist PJ Lynch, and a team of expert mosaic artisans, called Giovanni Travisanutto srl, composed the mosaic over nine months at their workshop in Spilimbergo, Venice, Italy. It was transported to Knock in more than 300 sections in early January and erected over four weeks. The Basilica has been closed since that time, meaning Sunday will be the first time parishioners and pilgrims get to view the new artwork.
The Travisanutto company is a world leader in traditional religious mosaics and has worked at some of the most important religious sites around the world. Previous projects include artworks at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and the biggest Roman Catholic Church in North America at the National Shrine of Immaculate Conception in Washington DC.
The mosaic is inlaid on the wall behind the sanctuary in the Basilica, close to the spot where St John Paul II famously celebrated Mass in 1979. The mosaic is one of the largest single flat pieces of religious mosaic of this kind in Europe. It is part of a major, two-year refurbishment of Knock Basilica under a renewal project for Knock Shrine, called ‘Witness to Hope’. The Apparition Mosaic will be unveiled during Mass at 12 noon on February 28.For further information, visit www.knockshrine.ie