Another phase of Żejtun parish church facade restoration completed

Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici gives a press conference about the restoration of the North facade of the Żejtun Parish Church

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The second phase of restoration of the parish church facade of Żejtun has been completed. The works undertaken included restoring the north facing facade following an investment of €150,000 and six months of work.

The first phase covered 890 metres squared on the south facing facade which were completed in 2018.

In a statement the Culture Ministry explained that the north facing facade was the best preserved since it is the least exposed to wetting and drying cycles. However it was covered in moss and lichens which were removed during the works.

The Ministry explained that the restoration and conservation works included the removal of cement based plaster which covered the facade. The replacement of stone which was structurally unsound. The stone was properly cleaned with distilled water and plastic repaired. Architecture details which have been lost and were easily reproduced from other existing evidence were 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 Restoration Directorate has currently 80 projects under its care each of which are at a different stage.

The next phase for the Żejtun Church will cover 1,600 metres squared and see an investment of €355,000. These works are expected to start in June and will last for about twelve months.