The Malta Independent 27 May 2019, Monday

Mapfre MSV Life supports preservation of historic documents at the Notarial Archives

Tuesday, 23 April 2019, 13:13 Last update: about 2 months ago

Mapfre MSV Life is supporting the Notarial Archives Foundation through the sponsorship of conservation works on a number of documents of historical significance that are held at the Notarial Archives.

The sponsorship was presented by Michael Galea, chief Business Development officer of Mapfre MSV Life to Dr Joan Abela, consultant historian on the EU-funded Rehabilitation Project, during a visit to the Notarial Archives in St Christopher Street, Valletta. Also present were chief notary to government Dr Keith German and head conservator Dr Theresa Zammit Lupi.

ADVERTISEMENT

The documents that will be treated and preserved with the support of Mapfre MSV Life are two manuscripts dating to the 16th century. These are attributed to notary Giorgio Zelivo and both are bound with a much earlier dated recycled parchment cover containing Medieval Greek Byzantine text. Such recycled manuscript covers are very rare to come across.

One of them features part of a sermon by Ephrem the Syrian while the other features part of a homily of St John Chrysostom, both dating back to the 12th century.

A third manuscript that will be treated and conserved is a bastardello register from the records of the 18th century notary Paolo Camilleri. Due to the short supply of paper and parchment, this volume has made use of playing cards as sewing supports, a feature that is very unusual in early modern bookbinding.     

Speaking during the sponsorship presentation, Galea said: "We are delighted to support the Notarial Archives Foundation in its endeavours to preserve the historical documents at the Notarial Archives. These are documents which provide a unique insight into the lifestyle of Maltese society over many centuries and constitute an important part of our heritage."

Dr Abela thanked Mapfre MSV Life for their support and said that it was hoped that more private individuals and institutions follow in the footsteps of Mapfre MSV Life and take part in the Adopt a Notary scheme, which seeks to ensure that our nation's paper heritage is preserved using the highest international conservation standards.

The conservation treatment of the documents will require surface cleaning, paper repairs, ink consolidation, flattening and cover repair among other interventions. Protective enclosures will be created to house the volumes safely and securely. 


  • don't miss