A section of the Palazzo Castellania, which served as a Knights court and during the past years as the Ministry of Health building, is currently covered as restoration work started on the two facades of the historic building in Merchant Street, corner with St John’s Street.
The project under the supervision of the Restoration Directorate within the Culture Ministry, will cost around a quarter of a million euro.
Architect Jean Frendo, who is responsible for the project, said that the need for the restoration of this palace was long due, with various reports concluded that parts of the facade stone were falling.
“The facade was cleaned and various interventions were made according to the amount of dirt. Some interventions were repeated, while certain brackets especially in the upper part where there is the cornice which were broken or missing, or even missing stones. These were rebuilt with special material so that they look in their original state and we are preserving the original stone. Obviously if substantial parts are missing we have to change the stones”.
Architect Frendo stated that various samples were taken from the facade so that the stone colour will match. The project is expected to cost around a quarter of a million euro with funds from the Restoration Directorate.
The Palace, built in the middle of the eighteenth century by Grand Master Pinto, is considered as one of the most beautiful baroque buildings in the capital city with many original decorations.
“In fact in the central part of the building in Merchant Street one finds the most decorative part with a concentration of decoration mostly made of marble, and we also find inscription praising Grand Master Pinto who built the palace. There is also a very interesting scenery in the upper part of the decoration showing two female figures representing on the left side justice with a sword in one hand, and at a time it had a weight scale in the other, which is missing. On the right side, there is another figure which represents truth with a mirror in one hand and a snake in the other”, Architect Frendo explained.
The restoration works on Palazzo Castellania are being done by contractor’s workers, under the direction of the Restoration Directorate within the Culture Ministry. Architect Frendo said that the restoration is planned to be concluded by March next year. The project follows others carried out in Valletta including the restoration of Palazzo Ferrer1a at the capital’s entrance.