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Sat Mar 13, 2021, 11:58 PM

Puerto Rico to reopen historic San Jose church after long restoration

SAN JUAN (AP) — The construction worker stood on his tiptoes and tried to arrange a crown of thorns on a statue of Jesus while architect Jorge Rigau fired a flurry of directions from beneath the ladder.

“Grab it like this and move it just a bit,” he said, motioning with his fingers. “Move it to the right, but don’t lower it.”

It was one of the final touches on a detailed restoration of the second oldest surviving Spanish church in the Americas, whose construction had begun by 1532 on land donated by famous explorer Juan Ponce de León and whose base was erected atop an Indigenous settlement.

The church was built for a Dominican convent where the renowned Spanish priest Bartolomé de las Casas once lived, served as shelter during an attack by the Indigenous Taínos, became Puerto Rico’s first high school and was damaged by a cannonball during the 1898 Spanish-American War in which Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the U.S.

Read more: https://vifreepress.com/2021/03/puerto-rico-to-reopen-historic-san-jose-church-after-long-restoration/

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