Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government José Herrera visited the Church of St. Joseph in Santa Venera where restoration works have just been completed by the Restoration Directorate. This project cost €59,000 and was selected through the Local Council Restoration Scheme.
Minister Herrera stated that this is yet another project completed by the Restoration Directorate on this church which is built in a neoclassical style. He said that these projects are being carried out in agreement with the local councils. He praised the local councils for taking such initiatives.
This restoration project covered the façade and the bell tower of the church. As the church is located on a busy road, car fumes and air pollution formed a blackish coating on the frames and tympanum, and the bell tower had a lot of damage due to missing stones and deteriorating balustrades.
The façade work was carried out manually using various processes for cleaning the façade. “The main challenge was to keep the patina of time, but at the same time clean as much as possible the façade without causing any damage," stated architect Jean Frendo, who was in charge of this project. To remove the blackish coating from the façade, they applied chemical wraps for several times until the dirt dissolved and was absorbed by the wraps. This process led to not damaging any of the original material.
It was also explained that in the bell tower they replaced the deteriorated balustrades and missing stones. The existing concrete cross was also replaced with a stone cross which complements the church's design and two statues of angels were repaired.
Minister Herrera announced that his Ministry will be shortly launching a similar scheme in order for further restoration projects of this kind to be carried out.