The Malta Independent 15 April 2021, Thursday

Support For restoration of Our Lady of Victory Church

Malta Independent Sunday, 27 May 2012, 00:00 Last update: about 8 years ago

Din l-Art Helwa is continuing to build its ‘Victory Team’, the name given by the heritage organisation to the group of valued sponsors whose generosity will be making the challenging restoration of the Church of Our Lady of Victory in Valletta a reality.

Through the generosity and long-term commitment of the two Principal Valued Partners, PricewaterhouseCoopers Malta and the HSBC Malta Foundation, two major parts of the conservation project will be made possible. PwC are supporting the work to uncover the murals on the ground floor of the church, currently being studied by professional conservators, as well as the restoration of several of the precious works of art inside the church.

HSBC Malta Foundation will underwrite the huge cost involved in conserving the 18th-century paintings of the Life of the Virgin that cover the vaulted ceiling, the greater part of which were painted by the Maltese baroque artist Alessio Erardi between 1716 and 1718. This complex work is being carried out by the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and will also lead to the MSc course established with the University of Malta’s Department of Built Heritage Conservation for the research and practical hands-on work that will treat the last segments of the vault that wait to be uncovered. Behind these lie the painted images of the coats of arms of Grand Master Jean Parisot de Valette and Grand Master Emanuel Pinto de Fonseca and many other leading members of the Order of St John.

“Through this initiative,” comments HSBC CEO Mark Watkinson, “Malta’s heritage trust Din L-Art Ħelwa aims to restore, conserve and enhance Our Lady of Victory Church which, as the first church in the capital, is intrinsically linked to the city’s foundation and history. The conservation of Malta’s heritage is a large-scale responsibility that requires the greatest care and attention. In recognition of this, the safeguarding of Malta’s historic and cultural heritage is one of HSBC Malta Foundation’s three main pillars, standing alongside its commitments towards supporting disadvantaged children and the environment.”

PwC Malta has long been associated with the project to save Our Lady of Victory Church when – as far back as 2002 – it supported Din l-Art Helwa enabling it to restore the façade in a project coordinated with the Valletta Rehabilitation Committee.

PwC Malta Senior Territory Partner Kevin Valenzia remarked: “We are very proud at PwC to be associated with the Our Lady of Victory restoration project and, of course, with Din l-Art Helwa. We believe it is vital for Malta’s heritage to be protected and maintained and, within our limited resources, we do what we can to assist. We believe that we have a responsibility to help create a sustainable future and play our part in making Malta a better place. These issues are high on the agenda for our people and the communities in which we work, and therefore our corporate social responsibility programme is an important part of our values.”

Din l-Art Helwa executive president Simone Mizzi says that the organisation has been overwhelmed by the generosity it has found following its national appeal for funds. “There are many members of the business community which, like PwC Malta and the HSBC Malta Foundation, have risen to the occasion and come to the aid of this long-abandoned national church. They are all Valued Partners and Supporters and are all playing a major role in saving different aspects of the church. However, there are also many private individuals, from all parts of Malta, who are coming forward on a daily basis and expressing a wish to be involved with this project and to make a contribution, some small and some large. They are all are helping to make this great project become a reality.”

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