Restoration work on Fort St Angelo has been completed as the final works on pavements and the fort’s facilities are being done. The historic building will soon open again for the public after the Commonwealth meeting in November. Heritage Malta has therefore completed in time its biggest project so far with an investment of around €15 million mostly with European Union funds.
Speaking on the restoration works done on Fort St Angelo, Architect Ruben Abela said all the services were reinstalled and passed underground, a new electric system was put in place to light up the fort during the night complementing it with the Grand Harbour view while the upper buildings of the fort, its gate and the 16,000 square metres of fortifications were restored.
“The biggest challenge was on the Kalkara side due to geological problems in the rock dating back to the building of the fort. We made use of technology used in the Alps to strengthen the rocks and foreign climbers came over to help in the installment of a stainless steel net stretched against the rocks to reinforce them”, the Heritage Malta projects manager Mr Abela said.
Architect Abela confirmed that it will not be possible for vehicles to enter the fort and Heritage Malta will use small vehicles such as golf cars to carry passengers such as elderly and disabled persons inside the fort, and to carry the daily provisions.
The principal curator of Heritage Malta, Godwin Vella said that once the fort is opened to the public it will serve as a cultural experience with interactive information on the importance of Fort St Angelo throughout history.
“St Angelo will have two aspects and two interpretations. One of them will be the fort’s interpretation with the use of audio visuals portraying the history of the fort and its importance throughout the centuries. At the same time around the fortifications a number of interpretation panels will give the opportunity to the public to appreciate the Grand Harbour’s development and all its surrounding buildings”, Mr Vella said.
The restored Fort St Angelo will be inaugurated during the Commonwealth GHOGM summit meeting in November and will open to the public in the beginning of December. Mr Vella said in October a part of the fortification will be opened to the public during a Birgufest event and an activity for schoolchildren and during a conference commemorating the 450 anniversary of the Great Siege.