The Malta Independent 20 June 2019, Thursday

Din l-Art Helwa: 50 years of protecting heritage July 1965 – July 2015

Monday, 13 July 2015, 15:22 Last update: about 5 years ago

Din l-Art Helwa was founded as a not for profit voluntary organisation on 9 July 1965 to protect heritage and the natural environment.  Its mission remains today 'to promote beauty, to fight ugliness, to preserve our heritage, in the city and in the villages, in the countryside and by the sea'.  

Din l-Art Helwa has spoken fearlessly for heritage for 50 years and has accompanied its voice with the power of example. Inspired by the love of the Maltese islands, the dedication of its volunteers is evidenced by the numerous historic monuments and landmarks the organisation has saved for the nation since its foundation. 

Since 1965 Din l-Art Helwa has restored 40 national sites and holds 17 of them in guardianship or trust from the state of the Church.  It has done this entirely with the support of its generous sponsors, benefactors, members and its own fund raising activities.


Lest we forget, here are but a few examples:

1968: The Chapel of the Annunciation at Hal Millieri, 1450, limits of Zurrieq, and its rare medieval frescoes


1970:  The Church of Santa Marija ta' Bir Miftuh, 1425, Gudja, restored with the support of the Malta International Airport plc


1975:  The first restoration of Wignacourt Tower, St Pauls Bay, 1610, carried out with the support of the National Tourism Organisation


2014, the second restoration of Wignacourt Tower, St Paul's Bay also carried out with the support of the Malta Tourism Authority


1980: The Chapel of St Roque, Zebbug, restored with the support of Round Table One


1990: Msida Bastion Garden of Rest, Floriana. 20,000 fragments of shattered stone were put together to recompose its neo classic memorials .  The project took 11 years to complete and was the winner of the Europa Nostra Silver Medal Award in 2001


1994: first restoration of Mamo Tower, Marsascala, a fortified family home built with sixteen sides in 1642,   sponsored by Round Table One


1995: Ghallis Tower on the Coast Road.  Restoration sponsored by the Mizzi Organisation, this tower dates to 1658


1995: The Vedette at St James Bastion, Valletta, restoration was sponsored by the Central Bank


1996 and 2015: Restoration of St Paul's Statue, 1845, on the islands of St Paul.  Sponsored by Vassallo Builders, and now by the Malta Tourism Authority


1997: Dwejra Tower, Gozo.  Built in 1652, this coastal watchtower was restored with the support of Galdes & Mamo


1998:  The Gate at Mistra, built in 1607, this gate was restored with the help of the Corinthia Group of Companies


1999/2001:  St Agatha's Tower, (The Red Tower) Mellieha.  Built in 1647 in the reign of Grand Master Lascaris, this tower was restored with the support of the Demajo Group of Companies, Toly Products Ltd, and Playmobil Malta Ltd


2002 to 2004: St Mary's Tower, Comino built in 1618.  Its restoration was possible with the assistance of the Malta Maritime Authority and its interiors by Vodafone Malta


2002:  The exterior walls of Our Lady of Victory Church, Valletta, restored with the support of PwC Malta


2004:  Isopu Tower, Nadur, Gozo.  This restoration was made possible through the legacy of Ms Marjorie de Wolff and was carried out together with the Nadur Local Council


2005/2015:  Restoration has just been completed of the Delimara Lighthouse, supported by the Malta Maritime Authority and GasanMamo Insurance Ltd


2006:  Lunzjata Fountain, Kercem, Gozo. Restoration sponsored by the Alfred Mizzi Foundation


2010: The Great Siege Monument, Valletta, by Antonio Sciortino,  sponsored by Fimbank Plc


2011:  The Statue of Queen Victoria, Valletta, sponsored by the Demajo Group of Companies


2012: The 9 Monuments of Maglio Gardens, sponsored by Fimbank Plc.


2012 ongoing:  Our Lady of Victory Church, its Alessio Erardi vault paintings, its altars and niches and art treasures.   Main sponsors:

HSBC Malta Foundation, PwC Malta, the Alfred Mizzi Foundation, Vodafone Foundation, the Farsons Foundation, P Cutajar & Co., the UIPP Fund of Mepa, the Tanner Trust, the Malta Stock Exchange, GVC Plc., Medserv Plc, the Double Gold Life Members of Din l-Art Helwa and many generous individuals


2014:  The Immaculate Conception Titular Painting by Mattia Preti at Sarria Church, Floriana, sponsored by Shireburn Software Co Ltd


2014 ongoing:  The Torri ta' Xutu, at Wied iz-Zurrieq.  Sponsored by the Malta International Airport Foundation


2011: The Six Presidents of Din l-Art Helwa, standing from left to right:  Martin Galea, Professor Anthony Bonanno, Dr Petra Caruana Dingli, Simone Mizzi, Martin Scicluna, with Founder President, Judge Maurice Caruana Curran

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