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Last Updated: Monday, 5 January, 2004, 19:44 GMT
'Women in hell' fresco restored
A medieval fresco depicting "ale women" being dragged into hell is on display for the first time in over 150 years.

The 'Coventry Doom' was painted inside the city's Holy Trinity Church by an unknown artist in about 1430.

The work, once thought to have been destroyed, has been returned to former glory after 10 years of restoration.

Vicar Keith Sinclair said it was "a hugely significant moment" for his church and for Coventry.

The painting, which also portrays people on the right of Christ being raised from their tombs into heaven, has had a charmed life.

The Coventry Doom was painted around 1430
It was whitewashed over in the 1560s at the Reformation and uncovered by the Victorians, who applied a varnish that within 20 years had darkened the artwork so badly that it was assumed to be lost forever.

The varnish has now been removed by a team led by the church's Architect for the Doom, Alan Wright.

Keith Sinclair, the vicar of Holy Trinity, said: "The painting is not only a part of a priceless heritage, but continues to speak of God's truth into the 21st Century.

"We might use different imagery, but the truth of Jesus in glory, coming as our judge, remains a core part of our faith about the real world."

A formal unveiling of the fresco will take place before Easter after lighting has been improved.

Rare fresco to go on display
22 Dec 03  |  Coventry/Warwickshire

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