Conclusion of Conservation Studies on the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum

Heritage Malta’s Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum hosted a press conference, addressed by Hon Mario de Marco, Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Environment, to commemorate the conclusion of conservation studies carried out within this site. This project was made possible due to significant financial assistance via the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2004-2009.

The Norway Grant, of over Eur 324,000, aided Heritage Malta in its current project of documenting and monitoring the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum. A further Eur 57,329 were contributed through national funds. The project also included the documentation of the Hypogeum in 3-D. This initiative has provided a definite record of the site?s current state and will also be an effective tool in helping the public understand the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum.

Environmental monitoring equipment was purchased and installed in various locations within the site, and extensive monitoring is being carried out on a regular basis, also thanks to the help provided by the University of Malta. Environmental monitoring allows specialists to study how the environment within the site responds to seasonal changes and helps conservators and curators to identify requirements to maintain the best conditions for the preservation of the Hypogeum.

The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, an underground cemetery used by Malta’s prehistoric community, is an exceptional prehistoric monument testifying the artistic and architectural accomplishments of Malta’s Neolithic society, spanning from around 4000BC to 2500BC. The value of the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum has been recognised by UNESCO and it was inscribed on the list of World Heritage Sites in 1980.

These projects are enabling the Maltese government, through Heritage Malta, the National Agency for museums, conservation practice and cultural heritage, to fulfill its commitment to safeguard this site for the enjoyment of present and future generations on behalf of the international community.