Valletta's original fortification plans exhibited at new museum

Video: Matthew Mirabelli

The original fortification plans of Valletta, drawn by 16th century architect Francesco Laparelli, have been loaned to Malta by the Cortona Museum in Tuscany to be exhibited for three months at a new museum opening for the public on Sunday.

The five plans, which date back to 1566, and which reflect Laparelli’s evolution of thought, will be housed at the Fortifications Interpretations Centre,  at the former examination centre on Biagio Steps in St Mark Street, Valletta.

The centre is to be officially opened on Saturday and there will be an open day on Sunday. 

Research coordinator Stephen Spiteri that the centre was not a war museum but an expression of architecture, engineering and art.

It was mainly concentrated on the fortifications of the knights and the British but it also covered all fortifications in Malta which dated back to the bronze-age.

The centre includes interactive touch screens and accurate reproductions of the fortifications in Malta. It includes a children’s area and is fully accessible.

Resources Minister George Pullicino said that the project cost €1.7 million, 85 per cent of which came from EU funds.

Malta, he said, boasted 60 kilometres of fortifications and so far €36 million have been spent to restore six kilometres, including Mdina and Cittadella.

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