Newly-restored Alessio Erardi paintings on the vault of the Church of Our Lady of Victory in Valletta were revealed this morning on completion of the restoration project by Din l-Art Helwa.

The project’s completion coincides with the 450th anniversary of the Knights’ victory in the Great Siege of 1565.

The Church was the first building to be built in the new city of Valletta and commemorated the victory in the siege. Grand Master Jan de Valette was originally buried there, and his remains were later transferred to St John’s Co-Cathedral. In 1617 the churg became the Parish Church of the Order. The paintings date back to 1716.

Din l-Art Helwa earlier spearheaded restoration on the external structure of the church. It also plans to restore the altars. 

‘The ceiling is perhaps the most important art treasure of Victory Church which is, in itself, a legacy of faith, war and religion, and the struggle for supremacy of the Mediterranean’, said Simone Mizzi, Vice President of Din l-Art Helwa.

‘The organisation is proud to have completed it in time this year for the Anniversary of the Great Siege and for our own Golden Jubilee year. We have been helped all along by the Rehabilitation Projects Office that had begun the project in 1996 and they carried out the delicate task of removing the huge iron beams and the vault floor during the recent weeks. This temporary ceiling allowed conservators from the Courtauld Institute of Art to work undisturbed.”

Ms Mizzi also commented that art-and environment-friendly lighting for the vault ceiling should be installed by the end of this year, but visitors can still enjoy the church, which now includes a miniature cinema showing a ten-minute documentary about its history and a new 'Treasures of the Sacristy' museum.

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