Now that the Main Guard building has been almost vacated, the delicate restoration process within Valletta’s Main Guard has reached an important stage, with Heritage Malta’s experts being able to double down on the necessary works to open the site to the public.
This was announced by Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government José Herrera during a press conference held within the Main Guard. This historic building, which up to a few months ago formed part of the State Advocate’s offices, will now serve two important functions. On the ground floor, an interpretation centre will be created, whereas on the first floor visitors will be able to view the various paintings made by English soldiers between the 19th and 20th century.
This floor, which used to serve as the regiment mess for soldiers stationed in Malta, is adorned with over 300 paintings, ranging from caricatures to satire, as well as regimental badges. “Each painting is different, and requires unique treatments,” explained Twanny Spagnol, a Heritage Malta senior conservator. “The challenge which lies before us is to try to bring them back to their original state, after years of alterations.”
Minister Herrera emphasised how the restoration of the Main Guard will bring about another site where the Maltese heritage can be appreciated after years of it not being accessible. “The Main Guard will welcome both visitors and school children, and it will also serve as a unique space for high level events,” confirmed the Minister.
“The works on the Main Guard form part of Heritage Malta’s holistic vision for Valletta. The Main Guard is not the only building that Heritage Malta has acquired. In Valletta, the former Fortress Builders and the cisterns below the city are now part of the agency’s sites,” declared Mario Cutajar, Heritage Malta’s Executive Director. “The aim always remains that our country’s history is preserved, and, above all, that it is accessible for everyone.”