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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

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Update on the Mission’s 200 Year Old Crucifixion Painting and its Replica

You may recall that 200 year old painting of the Crucifixion, the twelfth station of the Cross, that was recently discovered beneath a replica painting in the Serra Chapel at Mission San Juan Capistrano.  We wrote about it here.  The San Juan Capistrano Patch has an interesting story about William Maldonado, the church organist and self-taught artist who, in 1973, painted the replica.  The Patch piece is based on this Los Angeles Times article about the original painting and its restoration.

After Maldonado worked off and on for a year in a rented warehouse, his copy was placed over the original without fanfare. No records were kept. Memories faded. Parishioners died, and new priests came and went.  Entombed behind its impostor, the painting from the mission’s early years effectively disappeared.

“The community lost its collective memory of it,” said Mechelle Lawrence Adams, the mission’s current executive director.

It is nice that the replica is not being discarded, but rather will be relocated within the Mission.

“It’s a part of the mission’s history too,” Lawrence Adams said.

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