A new Foundation has been established between the Church and the Government and has been given the responsibility of looking after the Jesuits Church in Valletta, an architectural baroque jewel, to ensure it no longer suffers damages as well as to carry out extensive restoration on works of art, including those by Mattia Preti.
This church has a rich history within a cultural and well as a religious context.
Agreement was achieved after three years of negotiations and has resulted in the Fondazzjoni għall-Knisja tal-Giżwiti.
Fr Nicholas Doublet said the Jesuits Church had carried out great pastoral works from persons acknowledged by the Church, including saints and others beautified and had also ordained a Bishop who later became Pope.
This was the Inquisitor Fabio Chici who was ordained Bishop and later became Pope Alessandro VII. Adherents of this church were saints such as Labre and the beautified Nazju Falzon. This was also the church where Dun Ġorġ Preca carried out his evangelical mission.
Bishop Joe Galea Curmi said the church is a cultural jewel that represents current generations and must be appreciated by generations yet to come. He said the aim of the Fondazzjoni is to take care of administration, to oversee restoration works and thus safeguard its admirable patrimony not only as an architectural gem but also as a work of art.
The Minister for Culture, Jose’ Herrera said the Government has a responsibility to safeguard cultural patrimony in the best possible manner. He said that €4 million have already been spent in restoration and maintenance. To support the Foundation, both State and Church will provide donations of €300,000 every five years to cover administration costs and this Foundation should follow in the steps of the Fondazzjoni ta’ San Ġwann and find means of generating income and should succeed because of the richness of its cultural heritage.