Restoration works on parish churches in two villages, both of which are dedicated to Santa Maria, are now complete. The works amounted to 200,000 Euro. In Mgarr the works were on the outside while the Dingli church required a number of interventions on various artistic artworks. The majority of funds were issued by the EU while the rest of the money was collected by the parishes themselves.
The imposing facade of the Mgarr panel church is distinguished by a mosaic panel which shows who this Church is dedicated to: Our Lady’s Ascension to Heaven. The panel, which is divided into five pieces, was taken apart so that the mosaic could be restored. There were also pieces of mosaic which were missing which were replaced. This artwork was done in 1945 and was brought over from Italy at the end of WWII. The work cost €118,000.
In Dingli, at an investment of €100,000, the conservation and restoration of various artworks was carried out including 15 paintings: the altar of our Lady of the Rosary, two large paintings which show the wedding between Mary and Joseph, the Epiphany and the paintings of the stations of the Via Sagra. One restoration which took several weeks has revealed the hidden beauty of the decorative design painted on the wall of the niche where the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary is placed. This design was previously covered by wallpaper. The statue’s pedestal was also renovated. A very delicate intervention which took a lot of work and time was carried out on the wooden statue which shows St John the Baptist. This statue was brought to Malta by the Order of the Knights of St John. The work displayed the original colours and graffiti. More study and research is being carried out on the statue.
These works were carried out thanks to EU funds following an application by the Cultural Patrimony Foundation of the Church in Malta.
“The Foundation takes care of the ecclesiastical heritage in Malta. This is very important work by means of which we will ensure that was left to us by our forefathers is left in a good state, by conserving it and carrying out all the renovation required to leave it to those behind us in even better condition.”
Parliamentary Secretary Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi announced that later on this year offers for tenders will be issued for work on ten parishes and the Church archives.
Auxiliary Bishop Mons Joseph Galea Curmi said that the Church is responsible for protecting the Catholic cultural heritage.
“When we make this effort to protect what we hold dear to our hearts, it can be better appreciated, as is happening at these two parishes, but also for those who come after us to keep enjoying its beauty as well.”
Bishop Galea Curmi augured that the parishioners of Dingli and Mgarr will continue to take care of their churches and protect this natural heritage within these communities which inspire such serenity because of their locations.