The facade and adjacent convent of San Agustin Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Intramuros, Manila, will undergo restorative cleanup starting Friday.
Rev. Fr. Ricky Villar, director of San Agustin Museum, said the last time the church has undergone cleaning was six years ago.
Villar said with the new breakthroughs introduced by cleaning technology giant Karcher, the cleaning process of the church will be faster.
“This technology expedites the process, which is beneficial because the church is visited by people every day,” Villar said at the demonstration of the restorative cleanup at the church Thursday.
At the same time, Villar is grateful to the Germany-based firm, for the opportunity and for choosing the historical site to undergo cleaning.
“We are grateful to this partnership with Karcher. The non-pressurized setting of the equipment is safe for the structure as it uses steam to free the church facade from dark spots or any kind of vegetation,” he said.
The cleaning process is set to conclude on November 21.
Thorsten Mowes, Karcher cleaning expert, said the project is part of the company’s cultural sponsoring program that aims to preserve historical landmarks around the world.
“With our technology, we are removing the biological growth of algae, mosses, small plants, and emission of pollution from the centuries-old limestone. It is our goal to contribute to the preservation of this valuable building by cleaning it,” added Mowes, who headed the demonstration of the restorative cleanup.
Karcher will be using hot water high-pressure cleaners that emit gentle steam that is harmless to the church’s delicate centuries-old facade.
The steam delays the reintroduction of biogenic vegetation as its high temperature reaches deeper lengths and small nooks and destroys even minute biological components.
San Agustin Church, which was built during the Spanish colonial period, is the third historical landmark in the country to be refreshed by Karcher, the first two being the Rizal Monument in Luneta, Manila in December 2017 and the People Power Monument in Quezon City in February 2018.
Through its cultural sponsorship program “Karcher Cleans the World,” the company has cleaned over 140 monuments worldwide since 1980.
Among them are the colonnades of St. Peter’s Square in Rome, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the US, and the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedachtnis-Kirche in Berlin. (PNA)