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Rabat’s St Paul’s Basilica Restoration Project Set To Be Completed In July

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For centuries, the St Paul’s Basilica in Rabat, Malta has been a holy destination for numerous pilgrims and travellers from other countries.

The historic walls along the Parvis, built in 1906 were chosen for restoration as one of the ten projects chosen from the Local Councils Scheme Call of 2020/21 which is a scheme building upon the continuous efforts to preserve our national heritage.

They are adorned on both sides with sculpted motifs and stone statues representing the souls in purgatory. Finials symbolising flames on the walls to remind visitors that these are holy cemetery grounds.

The project was proposed by the Rabat Local Council and all the works, including site documentation to the planning permit application, to subsequent site interventions were carried out by the Restoration Directorate employees.

While visiting the site, Minister for National Heritage, Owen Bonnici, stated that the Government will continue to commit itself to identifying and safeguarding places of historical value like this site in the various localities.

“We will continue investing to strengthen Malta’s cultural heritage and I thank the hard-working workers who are carrying out this impeccable work,” he said.

From his end, the Mayor of Rabat, Sandro Craus spoke on the importance of continuing to work towards bringing religious tourism in their locality.

“We were going to lose this area, but with the work being carried out by the Restoration Directorate, we will once again be able to enjoy this area. The local council will also be investing in a new lighting system and securityy cameras.”

“We look forward for the completion of this project so that residents can appreciate the work conducted,” stated Mr Craus.

 The architect in charge of the works, Stephen Pulis explained the works that are being carried out.

The interventions being done include, among others: cleaning the historic walls from biological growth and other superficial deposits, pointing of open joints with a lime-based mortar, removal of graffiti, cement plastering and renders, and steel electrical conduits which were a recent addition, cleaning, and consolidation of the existing stone statues, the sculptures, and motifs that are placed symmetrically along the walls as well as replacement of the finials and ornamental stone sculptures that had been lost over time.

Present at the press conference were also members of the Rabat Local Council and the Archpriest Fr Joe Mizzi.

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