Heritage Malta has the job of managing national museums and cultural sites as well as their various collections. Seven of the sites that are under the protection of Heritage Malta are on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Heritage Malta is the point of reference for conservation and restoration, and it aims to be the educational leader in the fields of conservation and management of artistic and architectural heritage. Heritage Malta is also equipped with specialized laboratories and high-precision tools to analyze and preserve the sites and collections that it safeguards.
Role in the LITHOS project
The role of Heritage Malta in this project is to collaborate with its Sicilian partners on a study of the similarities between the two islands in terms of architectural heritage, focusing primarily on stereotomy.
Activities already carried out under the project
One of the main goals of the LITHOS project was the exchange of knowledge through internships. Two training courses were organized in Sicily for the Maltese partners in late September and early October. These courses, organized by Masters and Apprentices who are currently working with Heritage Malta, were divided into two phases: one academic and the other practical. The Maltese participants thus had hands-on experience on a restoration site abroad and were able to gain a broader understanding of the concept of stereotomy and its important role in architecture.
Participation in previous projects (references)
There are several projects that Heritage Malta has participated in, including:
- "Hagar Qim & Mnajdra Archaeological Park"
- "WOOD CPR"
Skills and tools used in the project
Heritage Malta has invested in modern equipment for conservation, tools, and technical know-how. The Masters and Apprentices now undergoing professional training with Heritage Malta are making use of these resources and instruments, which allow them to do their jobs more efficiently while at the same time respecting the principles of conservation. In addition, thanks to the LITHOS project and the new tools, Heritage Malta has been able to complete a large part of the restoration work on one side of the Inquisitor's Palace in Birgu. The work has proceeded at a good pace. The cleaning of the stone is being done mainly with dry brushes, though the nebulizer was used in some areas to remove stubborn dirt. All traces of cement were removed and some repairs were made with Roman lime. Several elements of the cornice are in a serious state of decay, so reliefs have been made so that new elements can be fabricated. Metal bars that were embedded in the stone in front of some windows had split the stone with rust, and in these cases we are using the technique of plastic repair.
With which other partners on the project have you collaborated and why?
Since the LITHOS project began, Heritage Malta has collaborated with all of the partners. This collaboration has occurred via emails and in face-to-face meetings of the steering committee.
Because Heritage Malta was responsible for the LITHOS internships, Heritage Malta has worked most closely with the Regional Centre for Planning and Restoration and the University of Palermo. Although Heritage Malta worked most closely with the above-mentioned partners on internships, Heritage Malta also received a lot of cooperation and feedback from the Leader Partner during the project organization and internships.
Evaluation of activities undertaken to date
Thanks to LITHOS, Heritage Malta and its partners were able to complete a variety of activities. All of those organized thus far have been arranged jointly, in cooperation with the other partners. The internships were one of the most important activities. Though Heritage Malta found the collaboration convoluted and slow at times, we did eventually reach the finish line.
The Maltese partners are currently working on the final conference and exhibition to be held in Malta in February 2013.