WATCH: Extensive restoration and conservation works at the President’s Palace
Works are currently underway at the President’s Palace on the biggest ever project by Heritage Malta in its history. A great number of workers are involved in different works from the replacement of ceilings to paintings restoration. The aim is to have the sixteen century built palace to its former glory. Television Malta is informed that studies were carried out on the history of each room in the Palace.
The restoration works at the President’s Palace in Valletta have also revealed traces of Knights era painting. The wall painting is at what is known at the ‘Uccelleria’, until recently the former office of the House of Representatives Speaker. Heritage Malta curator, Emmanuel Magro Conti, said this is a Nasoni original painting and they expect to reveal other things.
“Contrary to corridors, which were frequently touched upon, these are intact and therefore they present a unique opportunity to know exactly what the palette, their colours, pigments were”.
A document shows that this part of the Palace was painted, together with the soffit which was removed during the war and never replaced. “We were lucky it was kept at the Heritage Malta stores, the former Museums Department. We found other soffits of other rooms which are being restored by private contractors, specialized workers – Heritage Malta restorers and conservationists”.
Conservation and restoration works are also underway on the ceiling Nasoni painting at the hall formerly used by deputies, which was removed from its place and had been substantially damaged. Mr Magro Conti stated that when it was placed again on the ceiling plywood boards were used.
The palace works include other ceilings restoration and building which weren’t respecting the history, architecture and significance of the palace with Heritage Malta workers also involved in the works.
During a visit at the palace works, Minister for National Heritage and Arts, Jose’ Herrera, said that the project is a €28-million investment, co-financed with €10 million EU funds.
“The government is responsible for the majority of the costs because it believes that the Maltese heritage is essential to Maltese identity and to enhance our economy”, the Minister added.
The first phase of the Heritage Malta project is expected to be completed by the end of next year. This includes the visitors centre, the transfer of the Armoury to its original place in the Palace and the restoration of paintings at the Piano Nobile corridor. The other three phases are expected to be completed within four to five years’ time.