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PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR JUSTICE, CULTURE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT Restoration works on Żejtun Parish Church north façade complete

​The Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government, through the Restoration Directorate, has completed the 2nd phase of restoration works on the Żejtun Parish Church, which consisted of the north-facing façade. The works were concluded in six months.

The second phase saw to the intervention of works on 650 square metres, with an investment of €150,000. This came after the completion of the first phase, which was the restoration of the south façade, comprising of 890 square metres which was completed in 2018.

“The Restoration Directorate currently has around 80 projects under its helm, which all are in various stages of development. Such commitment shows the dedication of safeguarding and strengthening our local heritage, as it forms an intrinsic part of our national identity,” stated Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici during the visit. “Our strategy is to ensure that such places are more available and more accessible to our public, and through careful restoration interventions we are also securing this for generations to come,” the Minister continued.

This façade of the church was mostly characterised by extensive areas of biological growth. It is the best-preserved façade, being the least to suffer from the wetting and drying cycles.

Restoration and conservation work included the removal of cement-based plaster from the façade. The stone was cleaned with distilled water and plastic repaired. If stone was found to be structurally unsound, it was replaced. Architecture details which have been lost and could be easily reproduced from other existing evidence have been replaced by new sculptured stone or, when possible, by plastic repair. The stone surface was cleaned with nylon brushes from superficial deposits, staining and biological growth. The black crust present was cleaned and a lime wash (‘velatura’) was given to obtain a consistent appearance. Cracks were repointed using lime-based mortars, and even weak mortar joints were raked off and repointed.

The next phase of the project will see works on the main façade and belfries, covering 1,600 square metres, with an estimate investment of €355,000. The works are expected to start in June of this year and will take around 12 months.