As part of the UST Museum’s role in preserving the history and cultural heritage of the University of Santo Tomas, plans are underway for the major conservation procedures to be undertaken for the murals depicting UST’s history. The administration and staff of the UST Museum held a seminar and meeting as an orientation for this long-range project last October 27, 2021 via Zoom.
The four oil on canvas murals by Antonio Garcia Llamas which are located at the Main Building lobby recount the history of the University, from its foundation through the bequest of Fr. Miguel de Benavidez, O.P.; its elevation from college to University level by Pope Innocent X; the grant of royal patronage under the Spanish monarchy; the declaration of UST as a Pontifical University by Pope Leo XIII; and up to the point when young men and women graduated together under the co-educational system. Painted over the course of several years from 1952-1954, the murals have withstood the ravages of time and tropical weather but are in dire need of conservation.
The seminar began with an Invocation and the National Anthem, followed by Welcome Remarks from Museum Director Rev. fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P. and the Project Introduction by Assistant Director Ar. Carlo Sayco. From there, Ms. Maria Bernardita “Maita” Reyes, Chief Conservator of the UST Museum Conservation Laboratory, handled the Project Orientation.
This will be a project that will take a lot of time and will not be an easy undertaking due to the sizes of the murals, but we at the UST Museum are determined to do all that we can to protect and preserve our cultural heritage for generations of Thomasians and Filipinos to come.