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Conservatorio Vincenzo Bugeja

With reference to Mr John A. Consiglio's letter (The Sunday Times, August 21) it must be pointed out that the Marquis Vincenzo Bugeja was the greatest philanthropist Malta has ever seen, having contributed more than half his enormous wealth to charity, the Conservatorio Vincenzo Bugeja. The charity was effectively to remain under the scrutiny of all citizens, and even more so of his descendants, who were given a privileged interest in it.

For the fulfilment of its purposes the Conservatorio was given an enormous endowment, including real estate, government bonds, and a massive amount of antique silver and priceless objects. Despite the wealth of this endowment, however, the Conservatorio, at one time, was only surviving on a substantial government subsidy.

Can an explanation be given why this was the case and what has happened to the real estate and the treasures of the Conservatorio?

Needless to say, some of the Conservatorio's assets have proved fruitful, with examples of the prevailing standards in their administration being the building of a bank branch, currently containing the offices of HSBC (Jersey) Wealth Management in the recreational area of the Conservatorio itself; while the Marquis Bugeja's, stately home on St Barbara Bastion, Valletta, is being converted into a wealth management bank. The public can view the manner in which this has been undertaken at MEPA's offices (PA 01925/05).

This augurs well for the charity's financial future and one hopes that the taxpayer will never again be required to fund the activities of the charity and especially that the subsidy of previous years will be restored.

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