(AGENPARL) – La Valletta (Malta), mer 15 maggio 2019
Publication Number: PRen
Title: PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR JUSTICE, CULTURE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR EUROPEAN FUNDS AND SOCIAL DIALOGUE
Notarial Archives’ façades restoration forming part of € project nearing completion
Restoration works carried out on the facades of the Notarial Archives by the Restoration Directorate are nearing completion. Both entities, together with the Office of the Chief Notary to Government fall within the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government. Internal alteration and restoration works have also started at the recently acquired adjacent building located at 217, Saint Paul Street, Valletta.
Minister for Justice Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici visited the restoration works, and said that “through such interventions, not only are we ensuring the preservation of such magnificent historic buildings found in our capital city, but we are making the Notarial Archives more accessible whilst making use of their full potential for the benefit of our community. As a government we are committed to further enhance and invest in our local heritage, by strengthening it as a cultural product, for locals and foreigners alike.”
The intervention on the facades of the Notarial Archives include primarily the restoration of deteriorated masonry fabric, removal of cement-based renders and pointing, stabilisation of detached masonry facings, cleaning, and reinstatement/ reconstruction of missing / deteriorated sections of the limestone fabric.
These works form part of a €5M rehabilitation project co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
The project will bring about the transformation of two buildings. The Notarial Archives housed in an early 18th century palazzo at 24, St Christopher Street, Valletta and the adjacent building at 217, St Paul Street, will be interconnected and transformed into a leading centre of excellence in historical research, conservation and scientific investigation. Hence, the funding received is not only being used to preserve the collection of over notarial volumes of international prestige and rich historical and social value, but also used to enhance the accessibility of the Notarial Archives and its volumes for researchers and the general public.
The buildings will be integrated into one unit, and will house a new repository, shelving the volumes in a professional manner and in the best possible environment; as well as a state-of-the-art paper conservation laboratory. The building will also have a museum and a visitors’ centre which will showcase the collection and attract local research communities, the public and cultural tourists; and research amenities including an updated reading room and lecturing spaces.
Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia said that this project, financed by the European Regional Development Fund, is part of a chain of cultural initiatives which are being supported by the Secretariat, also including MUZA, the Grandmaster’s Palace, and the Manoel Theatre.
Aaron Farrugia said that this European project is part of the fabric of European identity: Maltese cultural and historic heritage is also European heritage, as was discussed during the Ministerial meeting in Louvre on May 3 in the aftermath of the Notre Dame fire. “The declaration signed during the meeting stipulates the need for investment through a number of programmes such as ERDF, Creative Europe, and Horizon Europe, as well as the establishment of a European network of experts to help member states implement historic and cultural projects with the aim of preserving and protecting our shared European and endangered heritage.”
The new Notarial Archive centre will also include accommodation for artists in residence, a digitisation area as well as an area for volunteers. Such facilities will pave the way for the Notarial Archives to become an international leader of archival research and of preservation and conservation of paper heritage.
Restoration works on the facades with an investment of around € have begun in April 2018 and are now are almost complete, covering an area of 650 square meters. Internal restoration and alteration works are expected to be completed in the last quarter of 2020.