DOI Press Release 0881 – 20 June 2008
The major restoration and rehabilitation projects earmarked by Government as far back as 2004 seek to address the problem of restoration and rehabilitation of the decaying architectural fabric of some of Malta’s salient and most important fortifications with the aim of their revalorization as an integral and focal part of the island’s cultural product.
However, to seek to address the whole span and extent of the ‘fortifications’ problem in the short term is both unrealistic and financially impossible. Instead, infrastructural and financial limitations dictate that a strategy based on priorities and holistic programmes of restoration rather than piecemeal interventions is adopted.
To this end four major sites were chosen for restoration, namely Valletta, Vittoriosa, Mdina and the Ċittadella in Gozo. This choice was not a subjective one, but one based on established criteria of historical and architectural significance, extent of damage and decay and, last but not least, inherent economic and tourism potential.
These four projects entail a very substantial investment, involving some 135,000m2
of rampart elevations over a combined perimeter length of around 6 km at an estimated cost (including some rehabilitation and floodlighting) of around €36 million spread over a period of seven years. Indeed, this will be the first restoration intervention programme to be implemented on such a massive scale in the modern history of our nation – surely an unequivocal statement of Government’s commitment to safeguard, valorize, and promote its historical fortifications as a central feature of the nation’s cultural assets.
This was announced by Minister for Resources and Rural Affairs George Pullicino during a public seminar ‘Fortifications Restorations Project’ organised by the Works Division of the Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs. He said that the public seminar was intended to involve the stakeholders, including the public contractors who will be carrying the works.