Lecce’s ancient Sedile monument was reopened yesterday evening By Lecce’s mayor Paolo Perrone along with other dignitaries, revealing newly discovered frescoes. The occasion was also marked by a concert of Baroque Venetian music in Piazza Sant’Oronzo.

The Palazzo del Sedile is a striking square building made of local stone pietra leccese – originally used for public meetings and hearings in the 16th century and the restoration work, which involved cleaning the stone facade and reinforcing the vaulted ceilings, uncovered frescoes depicting the life of Saint Irene which probably date back to 1622, although further study is needed to date them precisely.

Previously it had been thought that any frescoes that had been there were a tribute to Emperor Charles V but instead have revealed images of Saint Irene who was at the time the ‘Protector’ of Lecce. There do not appear to be any frescoes underneath those newly revealed by the restoration.

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