FIMBank will be sponsoring the conservation of the nine monuments which adorn the Maglio Gardens in Floriana, better known to the Maltese as “il-Mall”. The project will be coordinated by Din l-Art Helwa.
The Maglio Gardens date to the time of Grand Master Lascaris (1636-1657), and it is recorded that he built these as a recreational area for the knights, where they could indulge in pastimes including a game similar to croquet, called ‘palamaglio’, hence the name. The gardens were opened to the public during the British period.
The monuments, which will be the focus of the conservation project, commemorate personalities who made an impact on Maltese society, namely Sir Luigi Preziosi, Sir Adrian Dingli, Sir Ugo Mifsud, Marquis Joseph Scicluna, Sir Hannibal Scicluna, Dr. Filippo Sciberras, Marquis Vincenzo Bugeja, Aloisio Pisani and Giovanni Di Nicolo Pappaffy.
The implementation of the project, which is estimated to take between six and nine months, will commence once the required permits are in hand. The Heritage ResCo conservation team, composed of academically trained and experienced conservators Ms. Ingrid Ross, Mr. James Licari and Mr. Frank Chetcuti, the latter two being conservator-restorers and lecturing staff at Heritage Malta, have been entrusted with the conservation-restoration of the Maglio Garden monuments. They are co-ordinating the works together with the Floriana Local Council and Environmental Landscapes Consortium Ltd. Thanks to the assistance of Architect Norbert Gatt, the scaffolding will be provided by the Rehabilitation Projects Office as a further contribution towards this project. Works on the various monuments will be tackled according to their individual state of preservation, but will generally address the effects of unfavourable atmospheric conditions, in particular the natural weathering process caused mainly by salt deposition, as well as the effects of vandalism.
Commenting on this project, FIMBank President Margrith Lütschg-Emmenegger said that “Following last year’s successful conservation of the Great Siege Monument, it is a great pleasure for FIMBank, as a Malta-based institution, to be able to contribute once again to safeguarding an important part of Malta’s rich historical heritage. The personalities which these monuments commemorate contributed greatly to Malta’s social development and the transformation of the Islands into a community of which we are proud to form part.”
“Din l-Art Helwa is grateful to FIMBank for their vision and ongoing support of Malta’s artistic and in this case social heritage as represented by the monuments in the Maglio Gardens, some of which are the work of accomplished Maltese 19th and 20th Century artists, such as Antonio Sciortino, Vincent Apap and Ganni Darmanin,” said Prof. Luciano Mulè Stagno, Vice President of Din l-Art Helwa.
Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, the Environment and Culture, Dr. Mario de Marco said that the project enriches our cultural and tourism product. He stated that our country’s cultural and historical attractions draw a substantial number of tourists to the islands and these should therefore be preserved. Dr. de Marco stressed the importance of Government, the authorities and private entities continuing to work together in the preservation of cultural and historical treasures for the enjoyment of present and future generations.