Student urges other women to take up trade in stone restoration

A student at the Malta Collage of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) is carrying out restoration works at various sites around Malta, one of which is the Chapel of St Catherine in Gudja.

During a visit to the site, Education Minister Owen Bonnici said that if we want to look after our cultural heritage, the country also needs to ensure that there are trades people who can continue doing this important work. MCAST students who are carrying out this restoration are following a course in the maintenance of historical buildings.

For Emma Elena Cilia, the choice to attend a four year course may have sounded strange. First, because no member of her family had ever worked in this trade and secondly because she is a woman. However, these two factors did not discourage this young woman who today has ended her course and is encouraging other women to apply for it.

The students have also worked on other projects, including the repair of St Philip’s Chapel in Senglea, the Santu Wistin convent in Rabat and the station of Birkirkara. This year’s project also includes the restoration of various economic niches in collaboration with parishes and local councils.  During their courses, MCAST student have obtained skills in maintenance, protection, preservation and cleaning procedures.

The Institute of Engineering and Transport at MCAST offers more than 50 courses. The course to repair historical buildings within the construction department leads to a higher diploma in Masonry Heritage Skills.