The extensive restoration works, undertaken by the Restoration Directorate, on the St. Mary Chapel in Safi have been completed with an investment of €100,000.
This chapel is one of the projects chosen from the Local Councils Restoration Scheme. Since the launching of the scheme in 2015, 30 projects have been completed across Malta, and another ten are at the implementation stage.
During the Press Conference, Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government Owen Bonnici thanked the workers of the Restoration Directorate for their work in favour of historical buildings.
Dr Bonnici said: “Projects like this continue to clearly show the Government’s commitment to the cultural heritage in our localities. These areas should be accessible for everyone, so we can continue preserving the historical, cultural and intangible heritage they contain”.
Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government Alison Zerafa Civelli stated that the restoration works on the Santa Maria Chapel reflect the commitment of the Restoration Directorate workers.
“I encourage more Local Councils to submit their applications for the Local Council Restoration Scheme to preserve and safeguard Maltese Cultural Heritage while strengthening the value of our localities in order to continue attracting more tourists, both local and foreign”, she claimed.
The Chapel dedicated to Saint Mary was built in 1761 by the Architect Angelo Bonnici and replaced another chapel dated back to the 16th century. It is located in the heart of Safi, far from the Parish church.
All the works, starting from site documentation to Planning permit applications to subsequent site works, were carried out by the Restoration Directorate.
The interventions consisted mainly in the cleaning of the main façade, side elevation, roof and dome from biological growth, opening of defective joints and pointing with a lime-based mortar, replacement of deteriorated stone and lime injection behind the stone replaced in earlier interventions, removal of the exiting zokklatura and cement renders and replacing them with a breathable (macroporous) render, closing of cracks to stop water infiltration, making good of the deffun roof and dome and structural consolidation of the main doorway.