HELP RAISE FUNDS FOR THE RESTORATION OF OUR LADY OF VICTORY CHURCH, VALLETTA
The 12 Heritage Saved Limited Edition prints by Kenneth Zammit Tabona are divided into 2 sets of 6. The Collection has been made possible through the generosity of Banif Bank (Malta) plc. The price for Set A and Set B is of € 120 for each set of 6 signed limited edition prints.
For Members of Din l-Art Helwa the price for each set of 6 is € 100. All prints are accompanied by their adhesive narrative of interpretation.
We regret the contents of the sets, being signed limited editions, cannot be exchanged.
Please compile the form below if you wish to acquire a set and send it together with remittance made out to Din l-Art Helwa, 133 Melita Street, Valletta.
I wish to acquire ______________ number of Set A
I wish to acquire ______________ number of Set B
I wish to acquire ______________ number of Sets A and B together
I am/I am not a member of Din l-Art Helwa and my remittance of ______is enclosed
Tel No. ______________________________________
DIN L-ART HELWA, 133 Melita Street, Valletta
Tel Nos. 21220358/21225952
A GATEWAY AT MISTRA FOR THE REDEMPTION OF CHRISTIAN SLAVES
The arched gateway at Mistra was built in 1760 during the rule of Grand Master Emanuel Pinto de Fonseca, a Knight of the Langue of Portugal. It is embellished with his coat of arms. This marked the entrance to a country estate founded in 1607, the Monte di Redenzione degli Schiavi. Its income was dedicated to the redemption of Christian slaves taken into captivity by the enemy. The ransom of a knight could cost up to 200 scudi and that of a secular person cost 70.
Seen in the painting are the five red crescents taken from the Grand Master’s coat of arms which are said to represent his personal victory over five Turkish opponents as well as the Imperial Crown that he adopted to signify absolute monarchy. During his rule, many grand buildings were built in Malta such as the Auberge de Castille.
Din l-Art Helwa restored Mistra Gate in 1998 as part of its programme for the conservation of national landmarks.
CHURCH OF SANTA MARIJA TA’ BIR MIFTUH AND AN ARISTOCRATIC BENEFACTRESS
The Church of Santa Marija ta’ Bir Miftuh was already a parish in 1436. It has witnessed much of Malta’s history, surviving desecration through the centuries, demolition and even bomb damage. Its name derives from the large open well that lies outside its precincts. Din l-Art Helwa discovered important fresco fragments of the Last Judgment on its walls during restoration.
The beautiful and wealthy Nobilissima Elisabetta Moscati Cassia Sceberras Dorrell, Marchesa of Xrobb l-Ghagin who built and lived in Palazzo D’Aurel in Gudja, paid to have its roof repaired in 1830. She is seen pointing to the roof of the church and with the tower she built in the background. The painting is adorned with her crown and coat of arms, with a plentiful cornucopia, and the peacock, symbol of immortality in classic times found in aristocratic gardens.
Din l-Art Helwa began the restoration of the church in 1970 and is committed to its conservation. It is open to the public in the morning on the first Sunday of each month and an International Music Festival is organised there each spring.
GRAND MASTER JEAN PARISOT DE LA VALETTE AND HIS CHURCH TO OUR LADY OF VICTORY
Grand Master de la Valette, who ruled between 1557 and 1568 ordered that a church be built in the new city on Mount Sceberras in thanks to the Virgin for the great victory over the Turks in 1565. He paid personally for its construction and wished to be buried there. It is said that the foundation stone of Valletta, placed on the 28th March 1566, lies beneath this church, the first to be built in Valletta. The Grand Master was buried there at his death but was moved to the Conventual Church of St John in 1579.
Nike, the Angel of Victory crowns the Grand Master with laurel, the Virgin appears to him in a cartouche, his Turkish opponents are seen lying at his feet, while the words Melita Rinascens were struck on gold and silver coins by the Order and symbolically strewn below Valletta’s foundation stones.
Din l-Art Helwa has been instrumental in the conservation of the Church of Our Lady of Victory and has assisted with preservation measures taken in 2002 and 2004. The Church, with its numerous historic contents and symbolic works of art requires further work and Din l-Art Helwa is committed to the completion of its restoration.
MONSIGNOR PIETRO DUSINA, GRAND INQUISITOR, VISITS THE CHAPEL OF THE ANNUNCIATION AT HAL MILLIERI
The Chapel of the Annunciation at Hal Millieri, outside Zurrieq was built around 1450. Its humble exterior hides important medieval frescoes depicting saints venerated in the Byzantine era. These lay under layers of whitewash when Din l-Art Helwa found it in 1968 and their expert restoration was soon begun.
The Apostolic Delegate, Monsignor Dusina, also the Grand Inquisitor to the Holy See, visited Hal Millieri on the 5th February 1575, recording his visit in his book the Visitationis Aplicae Melitensis. He is depicted approaching the chapel with his retinue while the black and white cross of the Inquisitor and his coat of arms adorn the painting. He arrives at Hal Millieri, riding on a mule which was the clergy’s prerogative symbol of humility.
In this painting, Monsignor Dusina is seen wearing spectacles, after El Greco’s painting of the Grand Inquisitor, Cardinal Don Fernando Niño de Guevera. (1541-1609)
TORRI MAMO: A FORTIFIED COUNTRY HOME WITH 16 FACADES, AND ITS TWO MASTER BUILDERS
Gaetano Mamo and his son Giorgio, built Torri Mamo overlooking St Thomas’ Bay as a fortified country home in 1657 to protect their family and the local community against enemy invasion. They had built other towers for the Knights of St John in Zabbar and Xghajra. When enemy marauders were seen approaching the bay, an alarm was sounded and all would congregate within.
Torri Mamo is built in the shape of a St Andrew’s Cross and has no less than 16 façades, making it a unique building for Malta. Over the centuries it had fallen into grave decay till Din l-Art Helwa petitioned government to be allowed to restore it. Today Din l-Art Helwa holds Torri Mamo in guardianship after restoring it in 1995. With its perfectly domed interior hall and splendid views from its rooftop, it is used for small receptions and events.
THE LIGHTHOUSE AT DELIMARA AND A POPULAR BRITISH GOVERNOR
The lighthouse at Delimara was built in 1854 having been commissioned by British Governor Sir Richard More O’Ferrall to assist shipping routes along the southern coast of Malta. It stands 24 metres high and had a red and white beam which could be seen at a radius of 15 miles until it ceased operating in 1985.
Sir Richard More O’Ferrall was an Irish politician born in County Kildare, Ireland in 1797. He was Governor of Malta between 1847 and 1851 and granted a partly-elected Council of Government in 1849. During his period of office he encouraged trade and helped the Maltese mercantile community to form a Chamber of Commerce.
The Delimara lighthouse was devolved to Din l-Art Helwa by the Malta Maritime Authority and its restoration was begun in 2006. It is hoped to use the lighthouse for visitors when work on it is finished.