WATCH: Casino Notabile restored and transformed into a new cultural centre
The Casino Notabile at the top of Saqqajja Hill in Rabat has once more re-opened its doors. The building was designed in the 19th Century by the same architect who designed Valletta’s Royal Theatre. Our film shows how the building has been restored and given a new lease of life as a cultural centre.
The building is an architectural treasure with stupendous views of Malta because of its high locality on Saqqajja Hill, a building that was designed and built in 1887 by the British architect Webster Paulson.
Twenty years earlier Paulson had also designed Valletta’s Royal Theatre, a magnificent building destroyed by aerial bombing during the Second World War. Resultantly, Casino Notabile, originally built for the social enjoyment of Mdina’s noble families, has remained the best example of Paulson’s architectural works.
The building had lain abandoned and in a state of high disrepair for many years but has now been given a new lease of life after restoration works by the Government. Clifford Galea has been appointed as the building’s administrator by the Mdina Local Council. He said Casino Notabile will now be used to honour the story of Maltese culture. As a cultural centre the building will hold exhibitions and activities that will help augment Malta’s culture and folklore.
Galea said the building will perform various functions as portrayed by its Facebook page and will work in tandem with the UNESCO Youth Association in Malta as well as UNESCO itself and this will result in arts clubs, exhibitions, talks and many other activities.
The first exhibition hosted the works of 23 artists from all over the world who collaborated during a camp dedicated to art by UNESCO in Gozo themed “Sharing Heritage through art – Building Bridges of Understanding”. The exhibition’s Curator, Adrian Scicluna, said it celebrates a wide range of arts and cultures from many different countries and how these have helped to bridge psychological, physical and social barriers.
Scicluna said the artists had worked together as colleagues even though one artist was from Israel and another from an Arab country yet, they still worked comfortably together and showed their work ethic.