The Malta Independent 23 April 2024, Tuesday
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Save the Valletta Skyline appeal raises almost €6.8 million

Friday, 12 May 2023, 20:11 Last update: about 13 months ago

The Appeal to restore St Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral – a key feature of Valletta’s iconic skyline – now needs €1/2 million to complete the project.

Launched in 2017, the Save the Valletta Skyline Appeal has raised around €6.8 million to help save the tower and spire of St Paul's Anglican Pro-Cathedral in Valletta.

The popular Appeal has raised €2.5 million through the generosity of private donors and global fundraising, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has also received €4.2 million via an EU grant and €53,000 from the National Development and Social Fund (NDSF).

"St Paul's has formed part of the Valletta skyline for hundreds of years; it is an example of architecture not seen anywhere else in Malta, since Catholic churches have domes and Anglican have spires. It was heart-breaking to witness those centuries of history crumbling," explains Sir Martin Laing, Chairman of the Save the Valletta Skyline Appeal. "And to quote Martin Scicluna, who was my esteemed co-chairman until he sadly had to retire: to imagine Valletta's skyline without the tower of the Pro-Cathedral is just as inconceivable as imagining St Mark's Square in Venice - another World Heritage City - without its historic campanile."

One of few examples in Malta of the work of William Scamp, St Paul's Anglican Pro-Cathedral towers 200 feet above the ground and is one of only three in Europe of the Anglican Diocese of Gibraltar. It pays homage to St Paul, who was shipwrecked in Malta in AD 60, and is listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands.

When architectural inspections found severe issues that threatened its iconic belltower, spire and stonework, a committee of Maltese and foreign residents who are passionate about preserving Malta's cultural heritage set up the Appeal to raise the estimated €8 million needed to fund the vital restoration works.

While the funds raised so far have covered the costs not only of the physical restoration works but also the fees of consultants and specialists, the project aims for completion in late summer this year.

"We have had amazing support from around the world, Turkey, Malaysia, the UK and across Europe," adds Sir Martin. "The combined generosity of so many who have supported the Appeal has the power to preserve this central piece of Malta's heritage."  Indeed, the Appeal has received support from an extraordinary list of supporters and personalities who have contributed or participated in a fundraising event, namely musical theatre producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh, historian and author James Holland, round-the-world yachtswoman and author Claire Francis, Surgeon Rear Admiral Lionel Jarvis, historian and author Sir Max Hastings, and even members of the British Royal Family.

An event last month continued the Appeal's fundraising efforts. Renowned maritime archaeologist Prof Timmy Gambin offered a riveting presentation on World War II Royal Navy submarine HMS Urge on the 81st anniversary of its sinking, charting the story of this heroic boat from construction to action, discovery to memorialisation.

More information about the Save the Valletta Skyline Appeal can be found online at www.stpaulspromalta.org and at www.wearenotashop.com


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