One of Europe’s biggest mosaics lined up for Knock

Artwork depicting 1879 apparition at Basilica is final stage of refurbishment project


What is believed to be one of the largest mosaics in Ireland, if not Europe, is about to be installed at the Basilica in Knock, Co Mayo. Depicting the 1879 apparition there, it is 14sq m and will be inlaid on the wall behind the altar of the newly refurbished Basilica of Our Lady of Knock.

Designed by Irish artist and illustrator PJ Lynch it has been constructed by Travisanutto Mosaics in Spilimbergo, near Venice in Italy. A team from there will install the mosaic at Knock in the coming days.

The Travisanutto team has worked on projects at other religious sites such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and the Basilica of the National Shrine of Immaculate Conception in Washington DC, the largest Catholic church in the US.

The team have said they believe this Knock mosaic is one of the biggest of its kind in Europe, as it runs over a continuous flat surface and not around a curved structure such as a dome.

The mosaic has already left Spilimbergo and is being conveyed by articulated truck across Europe to Knock. It is expected to arrive on January 15th.

A team of five expert mosaic artists from Venice will then begin assembling the mosaic which it is expected will be completed for the official unveiling on February 28th.

In the meantime the Basilica at Knock will be closed and only those working directly on the mosaic will see inside until the completed work is in place.

The mosaic is the final stage of a major refurbishment under way at the Basilica over the past 18 months. It is part of a renewal project at Knock, called “Witness to Hope”, which was launched in 2014 by parish priest Fr Richard Gibbons.