A crowdfunding campaign on the local platform Zaar is currently under way to support the professional conservation of the Baroque wall paintings of the Chapel of the splendid Palazzo de La Salle in Valletta.
Palazzo de La Salle was built in the late 16th century and was home to the Knights of the Order of St John for hundreds of years. The Palazzo has been the seat of the Malta Society of Arts (MSA) since 1923, and is currently used by the MSA for arts education, exhibitions and performances. The little-known Chapel inside the Palazzo is decorated with stunning 1730s wall paintings, depicting the Coats of Arms of Fra Guillaume de La Salle, Grandmaster Manoel de Vilhena, and scenes from the Life of St John. The paintings are highly significant historical and artistic evidence of the era of the Knights, and some of the few Baroque wall paintings in Malta to survive within a domestic context. Extraordinarily, they survive in their original form, never having been restored or overpainted over the past decades. Such important paintings, however, have been long forgotten and they are currently virtually unknown to the public.
The conservation project of the wall paintings of the Chapel was started in 2016 by the University of Malta’s Department of Conservation and Built Heritage team, composed of professional conservators and students. The Department is now crowdfunding in order to complete the conservation project. The final phase of the project will include the cleaning and retouching of the paintings and is a crucial stage of the work, since it will return full legibility and aesthetic value to the paintings. This will require 6 months of full-time work of two recent professional graduates, under the continuing guidance of the professional departmental staff, after which the paintings will be presented to the public. The Chapel will then house exhibitions, showcasing the work of the Department and its sponsors.
For this final phase, the Department and the Malta Society of Arts need your help. Through this crowdfunding campaign on the ZAAR platform (http://www.zaar.com.mt/projects/conservationpalazzodelasalle/), everyone can contribute to bring this project to life. Everyone can, and should, feel part of it.
The Department estimates that, in order to complete the project, a total of €25,000 is required over a six-month period, to fund both the human and material resources necessary.
Beyond helping to safeguard such a significant piece of Malta’s art heritage, any sponsors of the project’s crowdfunding campaign will receive an exciting reward, dependent on the amount donated on the following page: http://www.zaar.com.mt/projects/conservationpalazzodelasalle/. The following rewards are included:
Open donation Letter of contribution
€10 One-year membership to the Malta Society of Arts
€15 Lecture by the conservators on the project
€25 Ticket for one of two exclusive concerts held within Palazzo de La Salle
€30 Three-year membership to the Malta Society of Arts and the conservators’ lecture
€40 Any course held at the Malta Society of Arts (both for adults and for children)
€50 Two tickets to any one of seven upcoming productions at at Teatru Manoel
€100 Box with 4 seats at the Teatru Manoel for the opera Così fan tutte
€250 to €500 Corporate packages, which allow to include the sponsor’s company logo onto the banner for the inauguration of the Chapel and other publicity materials
The Department of Conservation and Built Heritage and the Malta Society of Arts are proud to help bring life back to a heritage site that belongs to all of us. Conservation is not about the past, but about the future. What we choose to preserve today determines the legacy that we leave for the following generations. Whoever supports this conservation project should be proud to be actively part of this amazing process.
Paula has a pedigree in TV and stage production (children's and family entertainment) and a passion for the arts. She's taken the reins on The Artists' Directory - Malta and the relevant content for the site.