A €5 million investment should result that by the end of the coming year the Notarial Archives will have a record of all the documentation that took place in Malta over the last 600 years. The project which is being undertaken with EU funding is expected to be completed by the end of next year.
The extensive project will combine two buildings in Valletta in Triq San Paul and Triq San Kristofru and will provide the Archives with new facilities to safeguard the historical heritage contained in them. Following the restoration of the facade, work has now commenced internally where 20,000 Notarial volumes are contained, volumes that stretch back to the 15th Century. Architect Jean Frendo, who is managing the project, said the Notarial centre will not only serve to safeguard and store documents but will also be a centre for research into these precious documents.
She said this means the building will become a centre of activities and will include a visitors’ centre, a museum, lecture rooms, a reading room, a laboratory for document conservation and offices for administrators.
Minister Owen Bonnici said the Archives are of great importance and the Government is investing to preserve the documents for future generations.
These, he said, will provide an insight into our ancestry and provide a clearer picture of the country. There are many important documents, including the award of the George Cross and the first poems by the notary Pietru Caxaru and are all works that have to be safeguarded and cared for and thus the decision was taken to invest EU funds.
Parliamentary Secretary Aaron Farrugia said the Archives will be funded from the EU Funds for Regional Development. Dr Farrugia said the EU is devoting great importance to cultural heritage and is to convey a network of experts to help countries conserve their cultural heritage.