Conservation work on the monument commemorating philanthropist Giovanni Di Nicolo Pappaffy, located at the Maglio Gardens in Floriana and the work of sculptor Vincent Apap, is now complete. Work on this monument forms part of a project – coordinated by Din l-Art Helwa and sponsored by the FIMBank Group - which aims at conserving all nine monuments in this historic garden for posterity.
The Maglio Gardens, better known to the Maltese as “il-Mall”, date to the time of Grand Master Lascaris (1636-1657), and it is recorded that he built these as a recreational area for the knights, where they could indulge in pastimes including a game similar to croquet, called ‘palamaglio’, hence the name. The gardens were opened to the public during the British period. The monuments which will be the focus of the conservation project commemorate personalities who made an impact on Maltese society, namely Sir Luigi Preziosi, Sir Adrian Dingli, Sir Ugo Mifsud, Marquis Joseph Scicluna, Sir Hannibal Scicluna, Dr. Filippo Sciberras, Marquis Vincenzo Bugeja, Aloisio Pisani and Giovanni Di Nicolo Pappaffy.
The implementation of the project commenced on the 21st April following the receipt of the relevant MEPA permits. The Heritage ResCo conservation team have been entrusted with the conservation-restoration of the monuments, in coordination with the Floriana Local Council and the Ministry for Tourism, Culture and the Environment. Works on the monuments are generally addressing the effects of unfavourable atmospheric conditions, in particular the natural weathering process caused mainly by salt deposition, as well as the effects of vandalism. Following the completion of works on Pappaffy’s monument, conservation work will now proceed on the monument dedicated to Sir Hannibal Scicluna, which also happens to be the work of Vincent Apap.
When launching the project last year, FIMBank President Margrith Lütschg-Emmenegger had commented that “it is a great pleasure for FIMBank, as a Malta-based institution, to be able to contribute once again to safeguarding an important part of Malta’s rich historical heritage. The personalities which these monuments commemorate contributed greatly to Malta’s social development and the transformation of the Islands into a community of which we are proud to form part.” In a statement, Din l-Art Helwa had said that it is “grateful to FIMBank for their vision and ongoing support of Malta’s artistic and in this case social heritage as represented by the monuments in the Maglio Gardens, some of which are the work of accomplished Maltese 19th and 20th Century artists, such as Antonio Sciortino, Vincent Apap and Ganni Darmanin”.