HSBC Malta Foundation sponsors Banca Giuratale restoration

The external structure of one of Gozo’s finest baroque buildings, the Banca Giuratale in Independence Square, Victoria, also known as It-Tokk, is currently undergoing meticulous restoration works sponsored by the HSBC Malta Foundation. The works are expected to be completed by the end of this year.

HSBC Bank Malta CEO Mark Watkinson presented the sponsorship to Gozo Minister Anton Refalo during an onsite visit.

The works on this unique baroque building, which used to house Gozo’s local government, include the removal of all superfluous cables and fixtures attached to the façade, the removal of cement-based rendering, the cleaning of the façade, the replacement of damaged stone blocks and decorative cornice, the maintenance of timber apertures, and waterproofing of the Banca Giuratale’s roof.

Mr Watkinson said the HSBC Malta Foundation believes the Banca Giuratale is a unique historical building that deserves to regain its full splendour. “Strategically situated in the middle of Gozo’s main square, the restored building will be admired by all Maltese and foreigners for many generations,” he said.

Built on the site of an earlier structure which was the seat of the local government of Gozo known as the Universitas, the Banca Giuratale was constructed on the design of the French military engineer Charles François de Mondion (1681-1733), during the reign of Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena. The original building consisted of an oblong structure on two storeys.

Following the abolishment of the Universitas during the early years of British rule, the building started being used for various purposes. Due to the limited space in it, in 1868 a semi-circular extension designed by Giovanni Bonello was added to the building, giving it the appearance that it has today. The original façade can still be seen on the inside of the building.

The Banca Giuratale has housed several entities, including the Police, the Notarial Archives, the General Post Office, the Gozo Civic Council and the Department of Agriculture. Today it is the seat of the Victoria local council and also houses the offices of the culture and information sections of the Ministry for Gozo.

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