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'Back in business': restoration resumes at Assumption Church

Lori LeMare, a historic artist, is restoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus painting on the south wall in the St. Joseph Chapel in Windsor, Ont. (Stefanie Masotti/CTV News Windsor) Lori LeMare, a historic artist, is restoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus painting on the south wall in the St. Joseph Chapel in Windsor, Ont. (Stefanie Masotti/CTV News Windsor)
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Restoration at Our Lady of Assumption Church has resumed following a six-month pause due to lack of funding.

“Thanks to a very generous retired teacher, a 90-year-old that lives in Riverside, he donated over $100,000 in shares,” says local lawyer and project lead, Paul Mullins. “That put us back in business.”

Lori LeMare, a historic artist, is restoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus painting on the south wall in the St. Joseph Chapel. Last year, she discovered the painting was originally created by Guido Nincheri, a world famous artist.

Nincheri emigrated from Italy after trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. He later established a studio in Montreal and went on to decorate over 200 churches across Canada in the United States.

“It’s just astounding,” says Mullins. “We knew we had incredible artwork in the church and that the church itself was an iconic piece of history. But to actually find out that it was a world famous artist, who was the primary decorator of the church, who created over between 20 and 30 original pieces of art raises this project to a whole new level.”

Mullins says $5.65 million has been fundraised over 10 years to help in the restoration of the church. Another $1.5 million is needed to complete the interior, which he hopes will wrap up next year.

“2025 is the 100th anniversary since Nincheri decoration of Assumption Church,” Mullins adds. “I always live in hope that that million and a half dollars will come forward to complete this interior restoration on time to celebrate the centenary.”

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