The Malta Independent 18 August 2019, Sunday

Facade at St John’s co-Cathedral restored, inauguration celebration this Saturday

Monday, 15 January 2018, 13:15 Last update: about 3 years ago

Restoration works on the facade of the iconic St John’s co-Cathedral has come to an end just in time for the start of Valletta’s European Capital of Culture festivities.

Chairman of the V18 Foundation Jason Micallef enthusiastically encouraged all to attend a celebration in the piazza right outside the co-Cathedral’s main entrance this Saturday at 7pm. He spoke of great collaborative efforts between local and international artists for a unique celebration, including a 140-person choir.

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Works on restoring the facade began in 2014 and cost some €660,000. An area of 2,000 square meters was covered, primarily relating to cleaning the facade’s stonemasonry and restoring the co-Cathedral’s towers and clocks.

Three clocks can be seen, one showing the time, another showing the date and a third one showing the day of the week. The words ‘Clerici in Vernt’ were found to be inscribed which is believed to be a reference to the clockmaker.

Speaking at the inauguration this morning, Culture Minister Owen Bonnici, together with representatives from the directorate of restoration works, the St John’s co-Cathedral foundation  and a representative on behalf of the Archbishop all spoke of how the works would not have been possible without collaboration from the aforementioned entities.

Head of the St John co-Cathedral Foundation said that there are plans to illuminate three sides of the church facade, and that eventually when the museum is restored the entire block would be illuminated, using a “holistic approach”>

The co-Cathedral was designed by Ġlormu Cassar and opened in 1577. An estimated 500,000 tourists visit it every year, roughly 1 in every four tourists visiting the island.

 

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