Financial assistance by the Ministry for Gozo to Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria
The Ministry for Gozo congratulates Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria for the restoration works carried out on the 18th century main altar of St Georges Basilica in Victoria. This altar which was dismantled in the fifties is of great value to Maltese art history and Gozitan heritage since it was designed by Francesco Zahra and created by the renowned Durante Family. This project was financed through the eco-Gozo scheme for Non Governmental Organisations related to the eco-Gozo action plan 2010-2012.
This was stated by the Ministry for Gozo, the Hon. Giovanna Debono during the inauguration of the restoration of the altar in the Italian Cultural Institute in Valletta. The Minister Giovanna Debono also added that the cultural heritage and the artistic expressions found in Gozo outweigh the islands small size and help in promoting Gozo as unique destination for all those visiting the island. The restoration of this altar is one of various initiatives being implemented in this island in an effort to meet the Ministry for Gozos aims related to eco-Gozo. She expressed her gratitude towards the positive initiatives by Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria which are proving to be instrumental in the promotion of Gozos culture both in Malta and overseas. Through this project, the foundation is joining with Government, the Ministry for Gozo and other entities in the promotion and preservation of Gozos cultural heritage for present and future generations while also enhancing the touristic product.
The inauguration ceremony was also addressed by Italian Ambassador for Malta, H.E. Dr. Efisio Luigi Marras; the Director for the Italian Cultural Institute, Dr. Bruno Busetti and the Project Coordinator, Dr. Joseph Farrugia. Mr Antoine Vassallo, chairperson of the Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria delivered a presentation while the H.E. Mgr. Mario Grech, Bishop of Gozo and Dean of St. Georges Chapter concluded the ceremony.
Restoration works were carried out at the Bighi Restoration Centre by AC Restauri srl of Naples, in collaboration with Heritage Malta. The process consisted of mounting marble pieces on a large steel structure. The altar will be exhibited in the Hall of the Italian Cultural Institute in St. Georges Square, Valletta until the end of January 2012.
The restoration of the altar is part of a larger project by Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria which includes the building of a Historical Museum and Cultural Centre in Victoria which is being co-financed from European and Malta Government funds, with a total investment of ¬1.2 million.
17. 12. 2011