Manoel de Vilhena memorial
The memorial was originally assembled in the Piazza d’Armi of Fort Manoel on Manoel Island during 1736. Its design is attributed to18th century Maltese artist and Master of the Mint Pietro Paolo Troisi.
The monument was assembled on the initiative of Fra Felician de Mont Savasse, a Knight of the Order of St John.
The bronze statue was cast in the ferreria, the foundry of the Order of St John by master founder at the time Aloisio Bouchut. The bronze statue was reputedly cast in one piece. This is considered to be a mammoth feat and sets an insight into Malta’s pioneering bronze founding endeavours
The statue, complete with its pedestal was relocated to Valletta in Piazza Tesoreria in 1858 for the enjoyment of the public, however it had to move again in 1891 to be relocated at the entrance of the Maglio Gardens to make way for the monument to Queen Victoria in the renamed Piazza Tesoreria.
The statue was dismantled immediately before or during World War II and was reinstalled slightly outwards from its previous location in front of the Maglio Gardens. In 1970 it was being proposed to be returned to Fort Manoel however the proposal fell through since the restoration of the said fort was abandoned. In 1989 it was relocated to its present location in Pope John XXIII Square, Floriana, to make way for the Independence monument.
Mepa scheduled the Manoel de Vilhena Memorial as a Grade 1 national monument as per Government Notice number 522/12 in the Government Gazette dated May 8.