Published on Wednesday 18 January 2023

Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government Owen Bonnici announced funding for seven restoration projects of religiously themed objects thanks to Arts Council Malta’s Restoration Scheme for cultural property

The total funding for the seven projects will amount to €90,000.

This scheme, which is in its third year, is taking place in collaboration with the Restoration Directorate and provides financial assistance for the restoration and conservation of cultural property, both external and internal, which has been in existence for at least 50 years or more. These have to be general in nature, such as altars, apertures, architectural decor, gilding, and church frescoes which fall within a parish church’s remit.

Minister Bonnici praised the initiative and described it as an important step towards continuing to address every niche in the cultural sphere. “It is important to continue conserving our past heritage, and through this scheme we will be able to continue preserving our country’s rich history so that this may serve as a platform for the future. This scheme is also a perfect example of the government’s entire work in this regard so as to continue to strengthen the cultural and creative sector in all its spheres,” stated Dr Bonnici.

On her part, the Director of Funds and Strategy within Arts Council Malta Mary Ann Cauchi stated that, “One of the goals of Art Council Malta’s Strategy2025 is in fact that of ‘investing in and disseminating varied artistic and cultural expressions’. Not only are we addressing this goal through this scheme, but we are also safeguarding the promotion and the protection of access to historical heritage.”

Director of Restoration Norbert Gatt stated that this scheme is another way through which the Restoration Directorate, with Arts Council Malta’s support, is helping the Maltese heritage sector. He further stated that this scheme, together with the restoration scheme for local councils, will ensure the widest possible range of restoration projects within communities, and also covers immobile property of various typologies and materials.

The seven chosen projects are:

Konfraternità  tas-Santissimu Sagrament, il-Qrendi – restoration of the niche of St Mary

Arċikonfraternità tas-Santissmu Kurċifiss, il-Belt Valletta – restoration and conservation of the Baroque painting by Gio. Nic. Buhagiar and G. D’Arena

SKALI, Gudja – restoration of the titular altar painting of the Trinity

Fondazzjoni għall-Patrimonju Kulturali tal-Arċidjoċesi ta' Malta – restoration of organ

Senglean Organisation of Culture and Ecclesiastical Patrimony – restoration and conservation of the bronze and wood which decorates the loggia of the Senglea Basilica

Fondazzjoni Soċjo-Kulturali Ambjentali – restoration of a 17th-century titular painting of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, attributed to Alessio Eradi

Assoċjazzjoni Patrimonju Tarxien – restoration of a painting dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary by Francesco Zahra, circa 1770