Restoration of Valletta’s first church receives MEPA financial support

MEPA grants €85,000 sponsorship to Din l-Art Helwa

Valletta's first church has received MEPA sponsorship.
Valletta's first church has received MEPA sponsorship.

The ongoing restoration works at the Church of Our Lady of Victory in Valletta continued to receive providential financial support, with the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) today granting Din l-Art Helwa a sponsorship of €85,000.   

Simone Mizzi, executive president of Din l-Art Helwa said: "Our organization is absolutely delighted to have Mepa supporting our project for the Restoration of Our Lady of Victory Church.

"This important sponsorship will allow us to carry out some very important aspects of the conservation project, which include the installation of a modern, intelligent and environmentally friendly lighting system that will respect and enhance the art in the church, CCTVs and security systems and also secure the many wooden apertures on the roof and annexe that are in a real bad shape."

"Without these works, the conservation of the art treasures such as the Erardi Vault paintings cannot be considered complete. So we are really grateful to Mepa for making this part of our project possible."

MEPA chairman Austin Walker said the church, the first to be built in Valletta by Grand Master Jean Parisot de Valette after the Great Siege, was scheduled as a Grade 1 national monument. "Today we feel the duty and responsibility to further protect this Church by financially supporting, through the Authority's Environment Initiatives Partnership Programme (EIPP) fund, this restoration project which has been sensibly entrusted to Din l-Art Helwa." 

Din l-Art Helwa, who last September had been entrusted with the entire restoration of the Church and its annex by the Government, have already commissioned various experts to start works on the conservation of the important vault paintings, restore the ground floor perimeter walls and uncover their murals, endow the historic crypt with a dignified access and reinstate the 18th Century Organ. Other works include the installation of an external accessibility ramp and the restoration of the choir and sacristy woodwork, monuments, altars, and the numerous works of art.

Many other organizations have given substantial financial support to this project, namely the HSBC Malta Foundation, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Alfred Mizzi Foundation, Vodafone Malta Foundation, Strickland Foundation, Farsons Foundation and numerous individuals.

The Church of Our Lady of Victories was the first building to be erected in the new city of Valletta as a commemoration of the victory over the Turks. The foundation stone of the city of Valletta was laid here in 1566 by Grand Master La Vallette.

The Knights of Malta, conferred importance on the church by endowing it with works of art and making it a Parish Church of the Order in 1617. Extended by Grand Master Perellos in 1699, it was again enlarged in 1752 during the reign of Grand Master Pinto who also embellished the Church with a baroque façade as we see it today.

Known to the Maltese as 'Tal-Vitorja', it is called 'Our Lady of Victory', or 'Victories', so as to commemorate two great victorious episodes: the lifting of the Great Siege on the eve of 8 September, 1565, and the capitulation of the Italian Fleet to the Allied Forces on the same day in 1943.