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The Restoration Directorate within the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government, Malta, has launched a new book documenting its work on the restoration and rehabilitation of the historic fortification of Malta and Gozoundertaken during the years 2007 to 2015. These restoration interventions were part-financed by European Regional Development Funds (ERDF). Through this programme, some 43.3 million Euro were invested in the restoration and rehabilitation of around six kilometres of bastions and ramparts making up the unique and important historical fortresses of Valletta, Birgu [Vittoriosa], Senglea, Mdina and the Citadel in Gozo, as well as in the setting up of a Fortifications Interpretation Centre [The Fortress Builders] in the capital city of Valletta, aimed at explaining this extraordinary architectural heritage to the public.
The book was launched by the Hon. Dr. Owen Bonnici, Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government and was presented to the local media at the Fortifications Interpretation Centre in Valletta on Wednesday 23 December 2015. Readers can find more information on the ERDF 039 project in an earlier article by Military Architeure.com.
This new full-colour publication entitled ‘The Restoration and Rehabilitation of the Historic Fortifications of Malta and Gozo – A Visual Record’, captures the progress of the various restoration interventions undertaken throughout the duration of the ERDF 039 project, providing a clear and well illustrated record of the state of repair of the various ramparts and fortifications before and after the initiation of the restoration interventions. The publication draws on the vast database of photographs and various photogrammetric plans and elevations which were produced in the course of the restoration works by the architectural and surveying teams of the Restoration Directorate. The book, which runs to some 300 pages, stands monument to the massive endeavour undertaken by the Restoration Directorate in course of the past eight years, during which over 60 tenders were published, and as many contractors involved in the execution of a vast array of works which saw the repair and restoration of more than 135,000 square metres of bastions stone surfaces and underlying fissured bedrock. The opening chapters of the book also provide the historical and technical contexts informing the restoration works, together with other interesting information about the restoration and documentation techniques employed in the execution of the works as well as the various archaeological discoveries which were made in the course of the project.
The Restoration Directorate which oversaw the planning and supervision of what can be described as the largest restoration intervention of its kind ever undertaken in Malta, is the public entity charged with the restoration and repair of historical public property in the Maltese Islands. The Directorate boasts a multi-disciplinary team of architects, technicians, historians and skilled workers specializing in restoration and rectified surveys as well as other technical heritage skills. To date, the Restoration Directorate has a staff complement of about two hundred qualified personnel and operates from its offices and workshops at the Ospizio compound in Floriana.
‘The Restoration and Rehabilitation of the Historic Fortifications of Malta and Gozo – A Visual Record’ is an elegant publication designed and produced in-house by the Restoration Directorate. The book was printed by Gutenberg Press, Tarxien, Malta and comes in hardback cover complete with its slipcase.This publication is not for sale and will not be found in any bookshops since it is only intended to be distributed to official institutions, schools, libraries and other cultural agencies and media organizations as part of the ERDF programme.