A 300-year-old Baroque sculpture has been lent by Chester Cathedral to the city’s Grosvenor Museum.

The oval sculpture of the Ascension of Christ, in carved and partly gilded limewood, was made in South Germany in about 1700, possibly in or near the cities of Salzburg or Passau.

It was presented to the cathedral in 1928 and from
1966-96 was displayed on the back of the nave choir stalls before spending the next 21 years in storage.

Cllr Louise Gittins, cabinet member for communities and wellbeing at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “This sculpture is a fascinating part of the history of collecting and displaying art in Chester.

“It is a characteristic work of the Baroque era, one of the great styles of European art, but the museum has few examples of the Baroque or of art from continental Europe.

“The sculpture significantly enriches the visitor experience offered by the art gallery at the Grosvenor Museum, and we are very grateful to Chester Cathedral for so generously lending it.”

Canon Jane Brooke, acting Dean of Chester Cathedral, said: “I am delighted that it is now on display in the Grosvenor Museum.”

The Bible tells of how the ascension of Jesus Christ occurred, 40 days after his resurrection from the dead, as he stood with his apostles on the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem.

The sculpture shows the figure of Christ, seated on a cloud, making the sign of blessing with his right hand.

There should be 11 apostles, but the sculptor only had room for six, along with the two angels.