This collaboration came about upon the launch of the EU INTERREG IIIA Project CULTEXCHANGE_IT_MT. The Mosta Local Council and Heritage Malta together with the Superintendance of Cultural Heritage Italy and the Ragusa Local Council embarked on the ambitious project of rehabilitating the unique site at Ta’ Bistra Catacombs as well as that of the Catacomba delle Trabacche, Ragusa.
The Cultexchange Project, launched in 2010, had a project duration of a total of eighteen months and saw the investment of European, Italian and Maltese funds for a total of €350,000, of which the site of Ta’ Bistra catacombs was the direct beneficiary of the project funding. This project was such a success that further EU funds were obtained raising the total value of the project to circa €500,000. Both Heritage Malta and the Mosta Local Council pledged additional funds towards this project to ensure that further objectives were met and continued their collaboration in seeking to obtain additional funds for further project objectives.
The project aimed to provide inter-cultural exchange for archaeologists and researchers through the different workshops and seminars created and to conduct archaeological, infrastructural and conservation studies upon the archaeological sites. These studies formed part of the planned project and were implemented as necessary measures for the conservation and accessibility to both sites.
Ta’ Bistra Catacombs saw the development and rehabilitation of the farmhouse that was converted into a visitors’ centre as well as the development of the necessary infrastructural services, that allowed for the preservation of the underlying catacombs that were at risk. This joint collaboration with the Mosta Local council will ensure the long term conservation, rehabilitation and accessibility to this site. The Cultexchange project is the first phase of the project that was earmarked to protect the site. The project has been completed.