The Malta Independent 24 September 2021, Friday

Third Phase of Manoel Theatre’s restoration

Malta Independent Sunday, 12 June 2005, 00:00 Last update: about 8 years ago

The third phase of the Manoel Theatre restoration project is scheduled to commence soon and will now comprise the restoration of the proscenium. Thereafter consideration of planning and schedules is expected to resume in order to examine the eventual complex refurbishment of the auditorium ceiling.

Details about the works in progress and the next phase were given by the Manoel Theatre Restoration Committee during a briefing to the media.

Prof. Sante Guido, who heads the team of professionals from the Istituto Centrale di Restauro of Rome, explained the restoration process to date, highlighting the important discovery of the paintings on the balconies which could shed new light on the history of the theatre.

The chairman of the Manoel Theatre Wilfred Kenely expressed his satisfaction on the progress made and said that the next phase will cover one of the main features of the theatre and the most evident to visitors.

Referring to the paintings that were discovered in the course of the restoration work, Mr Kenely said that these are of great historical significance as they could reflect the change in cultures through the different eras of the theatre’s existence.

“We are all enthusiastic about these discoveries and eager to delve further in order to establish if these paintings were part of the original décor of the theatre. However, we cannot go ahead with the research before we get the advice of the Superintendent which we appeal must be forthcoming without further delay” Mr Kenely said.

He thanked Malta International Airport, the main sponsors of the restoration project, and the other sponsors including Din l-Art Helwa through Computime, adding that this was a clear example of a successful public-private partnership both in financial terms and expertise to ensure a professional job on this gem of a national monument.

“The Manoel Theatre, perhaps even more than so many other heritage sites Malta can boast of, is evidently an added value to Malta as a tourist destination; to Malta as a landmark for cultural tourism, the type of tourism we should be promoting today. For this reason and also because it is so much attached to the core of Maltese society, we have chosen to assist in restoring it to its original splendour,” said Peter Bolech CEO of MIA.

The press briefing was introduced by Rosette Fenech MIA Head of Communications and chairperson of the Manoel Theatre Restoration Committee who thanked the other sponsors Din l-Art Helwa that contribute through Computime, as well as the Valletta Restoration Project which, though prevented from honouring their commitment in financial terms, did not stop short of providing guidance and expertise through their president Dr Ray Bondin.

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