A Classical Guitar Recital by Liat Cohen

Another restoration completed at Victory Church

Din l-Art Helwa announces that on Thursday, 8 September, feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, the Church of Our Lady of Victories, Valletta, will be open between 9 am and I pm. The public can now admire the restoration of the 1735 altar and carved niche dedicated to St John the Evangelist which has been completed in time by Din l-Art Helwa for this annual celebration. The original 18c colours, gilding and exquisite decorative scheme have been revealed after months of painstaking treatment by a conservation team from Giuseppe Mantella Restauri which was made possible through the support of The Alfred Mizzi Foundation. This is the fourth altar to be restored at Victory Church since Din l-Art Helwa were awarded the church in guardianship by the government of Malta on Sept 8 2011. Din l-Art Helwa hopes to complete the fifth and last altar, that dedicated to St Liborius, by November 2016.

June 23, 2016 : Choir stalls at Our Lady of Victory Church to be restored

The 18th Century carved wooden choir stalls at Our Lady of Victory Church are to be restored due to a donation from Simonds Farsons Cisk Plc and Farrugia Investments Ltd. to Din l-Art Ħelwa. This was announced by Simonds Farsons Cisk Chairman Mr Louis Farrugia who with group officials of Farrugia Investments visited the church to see the restoration programme which is now at an advanced stage. They were welcomed by Ms Maria Grazia Cassar, Executive President of Din l-Art Ħelwa and other council members of the heritage organisation. Ms Simone Mizzi, overseeing the restoration project of the church explained that the choirstalls were in a most neglected state and have suffered damage from insect infestations and damp due to their close proximity within the bastion walls of the neighbouring St James Cavalier. One of the peculiarities of Victory Church is the fact that its apse was enlarged in the 18th century to allow space for choirstalls to be established behind the main altar. This required the building to penetrate inward through into the bastion walls of St James Cavalier and thus also allow for a part cupola to be built. Din l-Art Ħelwa said the restoration of the choirstalls will also provide a unique moment for studies to be made of the way this extension was built and of the state of the wall abutting into the cavalier. The Farsons Group through its Foundation have also supported the restoration of the church and helped to establish its Treasures of the Sacristy Museum.

Chairman of Simonds Farsons Cisk Plc, Mr Louis Farrugia with Ms Maria Grazia Cassar, Executive President of Din l-Art Ħelwa

The Eden Leisure Group views work in progress on Victory Church Organ

The recently announced fiscal advantages to companies supporting heritage NGOs in their efforts to conserve Malta’s rich cultural heritage is being seen as a healthy collaboration between the private sector and Malta’s voluntary organizations. Among the generous donors who have come forward to support Din l-Art Ħelwa, the Eden Leisure Group is providing the funds for the restoration of the organ mechanism at Our Lady of Victory Church in Valletta. Mr. Robert Buhagiar B.Eng. (Hons) started work on the 18th century musical instrument early this year and is now about to try out the bellows that would give the organ its voice. Mr Ian de Cesare, Chairman Eden Leisure Group, visited Mr Buhagiar’s workshop to see for himself the progress in this painstakingly meticulous task. Mrs. Maria Grazia Cassar, Executive President, Din l-Art Ħelwa, while thanking the Eden Leisure Group, remarked, ‘It is so appropriate that a company engaged in providing today’s entertainment is so generous in donating funds to bring back to life an old instrument that gave joy to so many for the past 250 years or so’.

Mr Robert Buhagiar explains the ongoing work to Ms Maria Grazia Cassar and Mr Ian de Cesare, Chairman Eden Leisure Group

Eden Leisure Group come to the rescue

The Eden Leisure Group have pledged their support to Din l-Art Ħelwa for the refurbishment of the church’s 18th century organ. This is another milestone in the restoration of Our Lady of Victory Church, reputed to be the first building in Valletta following the Great Siege in 1565. The exact date of the instrument is not known but studies relate to a payment made to Mastro Pietro Santucci in 1790 when the organ builder was paid 200 Scudi for the construction and installation of the organ. The instrument stood within a baroque wooden pipe organ cabinet in the organ loft above the main entrance, where it will be re-enstated. Maria Grazia Cassar, DLĦ Executive President said ‘It is most appropriate that the Eden Leisure Group, that caters for modern entertainment should give back to Valletta the organ that provided music in its oldest church’. Din l-Art Ħelwa are most grateful to the Eden Leisure Group who now join the higher echeleons of generous sponsors of Our Lady of Victory Church. Mr Ian De Cesare, Chariman Eden Leisure Group, has taken much interest and visited Our lady of Victory Church to see for himself the unassembled instrument and meet the restorer. De Cesare added ‘as we own and operate one of the most successful music radio stations, 897 Bay, we could not resist DHL’s request for the restoration of the 17th century organ which in its day must have given much musical pleasure to the Maltese. Din l-Art Ħelwa has entrusted Robert Buhagiar B. Eng (Hons) with the reconstruction and assembling of this precious instrument which, it is anticipated, will be completed in time for Valletta 2018.


Din l-Art Helwa 50th Anniversary

Din l-Art Helwa 50th Anniversary Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by His Grace the Archbishop on the 9 December 2015 at Our Lady of Victory Church Valletta. Featuring a 3 minute clip immortalizing the moment His Grace turned on the lights to reveal the magnificent Erardi paintings!

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