The Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation restores 14 shrines and statues in the Marsamxett area
- On 8 April 2020
Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg visited a number of statues and shrines restored as part of the project being implemented by the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation (GHRC) in the Marsamxett area.
Several of these shrines and statues are dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, who has an important basilica dedicated to her in this part of the capital city which also benefitted from restoration by the GHRC.
Because of the treatments given to these statues and shrines throughout the years, the corporation saw to the carrying out of research and investigation by qualified conservators so that their original colours could be found wherever possible.
The 14 restored architectural treasures are divided into eight large stone statues and six shrines mounted on walls. Among these, four large statues can be found in the area of the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, while another one of the eight statues is imposed in a large shrine in Eagle Street. Another statue with this type of imposition can be found in the English Curtain, in the place known as Fossa tal-Belt. Two other statues can be found in the area known as Duwe Balli.
Meanwhile, one of the six restored shrines is in West Street, another is in St Nicholas Street and another three can be found in Mint Street and St Dominic Street. These latter ones needed urgent repairs because of how long they had been exposed to the elements and humidity. The final shrine is also found in Mint Street, and a totally new wooden shrine was built for this and the picture was placed inside.
“It is important to continue investing in projects that protect and conserve our cultural treasures. Shrines and statues, especially these in our capital city, have a long story that goes back to the time of the Knights, and they hold an important place in our culture. Thanks to this investment, we have continued to improve the architectural quality of a unique city, both for the residents, as well as for the touristic product we offer. Around this time of the year, many normally came to visit these shrines and statues with their family, but there will be another season when we can enjoy this priceless work,” said Minister Ian Borg.
Financing for this restoration was obtained through ‘Operational Programme I – Structural Funds and of European Investment 2014-2020’, which is partially funded by the European Fund for Regional Development as part of the Regeneration of the Southern Part of Valletta.