Show biz producer comes to the aid of Maltese cathedral

 

Show biz producer comes to the aid of Maltese cathedral

Author: 

George Conger

A Broadway producer has joined the Prince of Wales in pledging financial support to restore St Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral in Valletta on the island of Malta. The 175 year old cathedral needs €3 million to restore its tower, 60-metre spire and stonework. The parish website reports the fundraising appeal, launched in February has raised €490,000.

Theatrical producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh, who maintains a home in Valletta property and whose mother was of Maltese descent, last week pledged €100,000 to the restoration campaign led by by Save the Valletta Skyline Restoration Appeal.

“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.

Last month the appeal committee reported the Prince of Wales had made a “generous” personal donation to the campaign, which commenced on Feb 9, the eve of the Feast of St Paul’s Shipwreck in Malta, and concludes in November on the 175 anniversary of the cathedral’s founding.

The parish website reports the pro-cathedral “was built between 1839 and 1844 on the initiative of the Queen Dowager 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.”

“The support we have received from every part of Maltese society – the President, government, religious bodies, the business community – and in many parts of theworld has been amazing," said campaign co-chairman Martin Scicluna.

“This valuable endorsement by The Prince of Wales has given the appeal a great fillip and reinforces the strong connections that the cathedral has with the Royal Family,” he said.

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