We go to Valletta countless times for errands or work but rarely, if ever, do we stop for a minute to take in the beauty of its buildings. A pity really, since many of these buildings are rich in history and through the centuries have witnessed some of the greatest moments in the nation’s story.
It is, in fact, due to their withstanding the test of time that these buildings sometimes need some tender loving care. Two of them are currently undergoing restoration works – Palazzo Ferreria, which greets us as soon as we step into Valletta, and the building which houses the Jesuit Church and the Old University.
In both projects the physical work is being done by private contractors, but public officers from the Restoration Directorate are in charge of other work such as providing architects who specialise in restoration, preparing plans and supervising works.
Palazzo Ferreria is the first old building that one sees to the left when entering Valletta. It was given this name because it was built where the foundry of the Order of the Knights of St John used to be. The palace was completed in 1880 to serve as the residence of the Buttigieg and Camilleri family, as indicated by the two coats of arms on the facade. Most probably no restoration works were ever conducted before, although some repair work was done after the damage suffered during the Second World War.Restoration works at Palazzo Ferreria started last September and are currently focused on the main facade. This phase, which should be completed by next April, involves the cleaning and consolidation of the stonework, and the cleaning, repair and restoration of the iron handrails, balconies and apertures.
The Jesuit Church and Old University project commenced last April and will see the restoration of the church and the university together as a single block, as they were before.