Mural at Corpus Christi Church Unveiled

January 8, 2012 Updated Jan 9, 2012 at 9:20 AM EDT

By WKBW News

January 8, 2012 Updated Jan 9, 2012 at 9:20 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) At one of Buffalo's oldest Catholic churches, an 80 year old piece of art has been restored, brought back to life, and was unveiled at Sunday mass.

After months of work, the giant dome mural at Corpus Christi Church in Buffalo was officially rededicated.

The original was painted in the 1920's, but after decades the paint had faded and needed repair. So the parish brought in a world-class conservationist to revive the beauty and the meaning of this religious scene.

"What you see right now is the original painting that was painted at the time of the artist who did it," said head conservator Roman Kujawa.

The painting is an interpretation of the "Disputa" by Raphael at the Vatican in Rome, and is one of the rarest in the country.

"This painting is one of three in the United States, and only one on the East coast," Father Miriusz Duimek of Corpus Christi said.

"It is the most valuable, most attractive masterpiece in this church. Probably one of the most beautiful religious paintings in this country," Kujawa added.

Parishioners couldn't help but stop to admire the mural and snap a quick picture or two. One parishioner called it the "gem of the East side."

And Father Duimek and the parishioners know that this is far more than just a painting.

"This is high class artism. Which pushes us to be closer to God, to be closer to Jesus Christ," Father Duimek said.