Conservation work on the monuments at the Maglio Gardens in Floriana, better known as il-Mall, is proceeding at a brisk pace, with no less than five of the nine monuments in the garden having been restored to their pristine state. Work on these monuments forms part of a project - coordinated by Din l-Art Helwa and sponsored by Malta-based specialist trade finance institution FIMBank - which aims at conserving the monuments in this historic garden for posterity.
Since the start of the implementation of the project last April, the Heritage ResCo conservation team, which has been entrusted with the conservation-restoration of the monuments, has completed work on the monuments commemorating philanthropist Giovanni Di Nicolò Pappaffy, Sir Hannibal Scicluna, Sir Filippo Sceberras, Marquis Josepho Scicluna and Sir Adrian Dingli.
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. According to Mr Jason Zammit, FIMBank’s Head of Public & Media Relations, restoration work on the remaining monuments, namely those commemorating Sir Hugo Mifsud, Marquis Vincenzo Bugeja, Sir Luigi Preziosi and Sir Aloisio Pisani should be completed by the end of August: “The garden is already is getting a new lease of life with this project and we are looking forward to the completion date, when visitors will be able to admire the work of some of Malta’s most accomplished sculptors in pristine condition,” said Mr Zammit.
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.