St. John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation commemorates 20th anniversary since inception

Twenty years ago the Co-Cathedral Foundation was set up which is responsible for the administration and restoration of projects that take place in the historic monument that was built by the the Order of St. John.

Foundation curator Cynthia Degiorgio told TVM that the Foundation has worked to uphold the importance and value of one of Malta’s crown jewels.

Behind the simple Baroque facade is one of the most spectacular temples in Europe – St. John’s Co-Cathedral.

Built between 1572 and completed five years later by the Order of St. John as the conventual church of the Order ..it remains the most sought after historical place by those who visit our country.

The establishment of the St. John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation 20 years ago marked the beginning of a new life for this architectural and artistic gem in Valletta, as it established the way in which this majestic Cathedral should be administered.

Through the Foundation, which is part Government and part Church, the Co-Cathedral was able to obtain specific funds together with a number of experts who could make the best decisions in the interest of the Co-Cathedra in a timely manner.

Over the years this has meant a significant change in the appearance of the Co-Cathedral.

Co-Cathedral Curator Cynthia Degiorgio said that the Foundation has transformed this historic monument from a state of abandonment to a level of conservation that ensures the continued preservation of this national gem.

“Intensive restoration projects have been carried out over the last 20 years. Suffice it to mention 2,000 square metres of gold and gilding and the carvings of the interior walls, the crypt of the Grand Masters which is the largest cycle of frescoes and flamingos we have, ie 700 square meters of tapestries which have all been restored. ”

The Foundation, which is responsible for the administration of the Co-Cathedral as a religious and cultural monument, is continuing with maintenance and restoration projects as well as new projects such as that of the Co-Cathedral museum which is in its first phase.

“This museum will be special because the visitor can study and educate himself on the whole ‘cycle’ of the Baroque period … from the beginning – the Caravaggio … to the Tapestries of Flamingos … to the ceiling of the church which is Mattia Preti ‘late’ Baroque “.

The Foundation is marking the 20th anniversary of its founding with the launch of a publication on the restoration and conservation that took place at St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta.

The President of the Foundation, Monsignor Emmanuel Agius, said that the publication shows and documents the legacy of the extensive and comprehensive restoration and conservation program.

He added that the book also gives credibility to the vision of the founders of the Foundation and acknowledges the achievements of the institution.