The ancient icon of Our Lady of Philermos was the focal point of the meeting with the Montenegrin Minister of Culture Aleksandar Bogdanović, received in the Magistral Palace by the Sovereign Order of Malta’s Grand Chancellor Albrecht Boeselager on 26th April.
The state of preservation of the icon, protectress of the Order of Malta since its arrival on the island of Rhodes in 1310 and now in Cetinje in Montenegro, was discussed. It was decided to submit the Byzantine image to an in-depth technical analysis as soon as possible to assess its conservation and if necessary plan its restoration. The Order of Malta also announced that, to better protect the icon from humidity and temperature fluctuations, it will supply the Montenegro government with a high-tech display case which, besides being blast-proof, will guarantee perfect climate control.
For the Order the icon is a symbol of its intense Marian spirituality. On Rhodes it was kept on Mount Philermos (hence its name) and tradition has it that it was painted by Saint Luke himself.