The chapel dedicated to Santa Marija tal-Ħlas (Our Lady of Deliverance) at Żejtun is to be restored at a cost of €130,000 that will be cofinanced from EU Funds. The project will be carried out in collaboration with the Fondazzjoni għall-Patrimonju Kulturali tal-Arċidjoċesi ta’ Malta (The Malta Archdiocese Foundation for Cultural Patrimony) and was launched this morning.
The chapel is currently in a highly deteriorated state and has been condemned with instructions that nobody is to enter the chapel because the ceiling may collapse at any time. The building of the chapel goes back 400 years.
The architect’s decision condemning the chapel came as a shock and from the survey it was established the arches had dropped at least six inches, requiring intensive restoration. The wall behind the chapel has to be strengthened and the arches restored to their proper place.
The Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds, Stephan Zrinzo Azzopardi, said that such projects are greatly needed to safeguard cultural patrimony and ensure it will not be lost for the benefit of future generations but also to serve as a tourist attraction.
He said that as part of a chain of restoration projects this project will be cofinanced by EU Funds and will cost €130,000 and will be carried in collaboration with the Foundation for this historic building to be renovated.
Together with this restoration project the Foundation is also working on other cultural heritage projects estimated to cost €330,000.
Administrative Secretary Michael Pace Ross said the chapel is in need of intense restoration because as the Archpriest stated it is in a pitiful state. The other two projects will be an archipretal church in Cospicua as well as the Santa Teresa t’Avila chapel which falls under the archipretal zone of St Paul’s in Valletta.
Pace Ross said that over the last five years the Church has found great Government collaboration for the restoration of ecclesiastical heritage to prevent this being lot.