170130 Art Lecture 30th Jan 2017: Domenico Chiocchetti and Orkney’s Italian Chapel

Date: Monday 30th January 2017 10:30 (change of date)
Location: Salón de Actos, Espai la Senieta, Moraira (next to the large free car park)
Subject: Domenico Chiocchetti and Orkney’s Italian Chapel
Lecturer: Angela Chantry

550 Italian prisoners of war, captured in North Africa during World War II, were brought to Orkney in 1942 and set to work on the construction of the Churchill Barriers, four causeways created to block access to Scapa Flow. The base commandant and the camp’s padre agreed that a place of worship was required and so a chapel was constructed by the prisoners, using the very limited materials available; the light holders, for example, were made out of corned beef tins! The sanctuary end of the chapel was painted by Domenico Chiocchetti (a talented painter before the war), whilst fellow-prisoners decorated the rest of the interior. They created an astounding and truly unique place, which has become an enduring symbol of peace and hope around the world. The story of how the chapel came into existence and survived against all the odds is both fascinating and inspiring.

[Webmaster’s note: Chiocchetti is pronounced: Kiokketti]


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