PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR JUSTICE, CULTURE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Commencement of restoration works on north facade of ?ejtun Parish Church

Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici has announced that the Restoration Directorate, which falls within the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government, has started works on the north facade of Zejtun Parish Church.

This project has now entered its second phase, as last year a total of 890 square metres of the south facade were restored.

The Restoration Directorate is currently undergoing numerous projects to restore historic buildings found around the island, especially since these hold great historical significance. Our localities are filled with extraordinary buildings and monuments which map our history and culture and play an intrinsic role in the shaping of our identity as Maltese. Through restoration and conservation, we are not only honouring our heritage, but we can ensure that these sites are more accessible, especially to future generations, stated Minister Owen Bonnici during his address.

Bonnici concluded by saying that the Restoration Directorate has already worked in 70% of our localities, and thanked the Directorate and the workers for their effort to regenerate our localities and bring to the forefront the importance these historic buildings carry.

This facade of the church which is currently being restored, is mostly characterised by extensive areas of biological growth. It is the best-preserved facade, being the less to suffer from the wetting and drying cycles.

Restoration and conservation works will include the removal of cement-based plaster from the facade. The stone will be properly cleaned with distilled water and plastic repaired. If stone is found to be structurally unsound, it will be replaced. Architecture details which have been lost and can be easily reproduced from other existing evidence will be replaced by new sculptured stone or when possible by plastic repair. The stone surface will be cleaned with nylon brushes from superficial deposits, staining and biological growth. The black crust present will be cleaned and a lime wash (velatura) will be given to obtain a consistent appearance. Cracks will be repointed using lime-based mortars and even weak mortar joints will be raked off and repointed.

Works on the north facade are envisaged to be completed by the end of December with an investment of Euros 150,000.

Source: Government of Malta