Restoration work begins on Malta’s Anglican cathedral

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The “Save Valletta Syline Restoration Appeal” of St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in Malta reports permission has been given by the government to begin restoration of the tower, spire and stone work of the Nineteenth century grade 1 listed building standing on Valletta’s waterfront.

On 21 May 2020 the committee reported the €3 million contract signed in January between the church wardens and a Maltese joint venture company received the go-ahead to embark on the works. Scaffolding will be erected around the 67-meter bell tower within the next two weeks and constructioun begun.

The parish website reports the pro-cathedral “was built between 1839 and 1844 on the initiative of Queen Adelaide, widow of King William IV and the aunt of Queen Victoria. The Pro-Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Paul, considered to be the spiritual father of the Maltese nation … The building is designed to a Neo-Classical architectural style with a grand temple-front portico with Ionic columns. An array of eight Corinthian columns embellish its interior.”

In 2017 the Prince of Wales inaugurated the fundraising appeal with a generous donation the committee said. Theatrical producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh, who maintains a home in Valletta and whose mother was of Maltese descent, gave €100,000 to the restoration campaign also. 

“Valletta, a city full of historic buildings, would not be the same without this splendid landmark,” Sir Cameron said.  “It is so important that such jewels like St Paul’s are maintained for future generations to admire. Once they are gone, they are gone as we have seen from the very sad recent collapse of the Azure Window in Gozo.”

Mackintosh’s first major success came in 1981 when he produced Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Cats, followed by Oliver!, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera and Mary Poppins.

An EU grant and the funds raised by the congregation will finance the first round of repairs, the appeal committee said, while a further €4 million is needed to repair the external fabric of the church, turn the undercroft into a cafe and visitor’s center, and restore the roof structure and ceiling.