Ta’ Kola Wind­mill in Xagħra re­opens to pub­lic af­ter restora­tion works

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Ta’ Kola Wind­mill in Xagħra Gozo is open again to the pub­lic af­ter restora­tion works on the fi­nal phase of the wind­mill’s mech­a­nism re­con­struc­tion were car­ried out by Her­itage Malta. The in­au­gu­ra­tion of the restora­tion works car­ried out in these last three years was held yes­ter­day by the Min­is­ter for Jus­tice, Cul­ture and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Dr Owen Bon­nici, and the Min­is­ter for Gozo, Mr An­ton Re­falo in the pres­ence of the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of Her­itage Malta, Mr Ken­neth Gam­bin.

The pro­ject to re­store Ta’ Kola Wind­mill kicked off af­ter the wind­mill was dam­aged in a wind­storm in 2008. Lab­o­ra­tory stud­ies were car­ried out on the wood­work of the dam­aged vanes and the in­ter­nal mech­a­nism. Af­ter the vanes were re­moved since they be­came safety haz­ard. Af­ter close in­spec­tion, Her­itage Malta came to the con­clu­sion that most of the old wood was in a poor state of con­ser­va­tion and had to be en­tirely re­placed if the wind­mill had to be func­tional.

The works con­sisted of the re­moval of the old milling mech­a­nism, the in­stal­la­tion of the wooden struc­ture which sup­ports the two milling stones and ex­ten­sive work on the in­ter­nal mech­a­nism and the wooden cone. The restora­tion pro­ject was com­pleted re­cently when the an­ten­nae of the mill were re­in­stalled back to their orig­i­nal sta­tus. All the works were car­ried out in­house, with Her­itage Malta’s own tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise.

In his ad­dress Min­is­ter for Jus­tice, Cul­ture and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Dr Owen Bon­nici, said that this pro­ject is an ex­em­plary ven­ture bring­ing to­gether cul­tural her­itage and lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. The Min­is­ter said this pro­ject goes hand in hand with other ini­tia­tives taken by the gov­ern­ment through en­ti­ties such as Her­itage Malta to make mu­se­ums and site not only ac­ces­si­ble to the vis­i­tor but also rel­e­vant to the sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties. ‘’Sim­i­lar projects bring out the en­demic fea­tures and study the cul­tural fab­ric of so­ci­eties recog­nis­ing as­pects that shape lo­cal and na­tional iden­ti­ties. Sim­i­lar ini­tia­tives give also higher value to the en­vi­ron­ment of the lo­cal­ity mak­ing the com­mu­nity and its sur­round­ing more unique. These up­grades af­fect di­rectly as­pects un­der the re­mit of lo­cal coun­cils and up­grades par­tic­u­lar fea­tures such as lo­cal tourism, en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues and plan­ning is­sues amongst oth­ers’’, said Dr Bon­nici.

The Min­is­ter for Gozo, Mr An­ton Re­falo, stated that Ta’ Kola Wind­mill’s restora­tion and re­con­struc­tion pro­ject is the lat­est in a se­ries of projects aimed at pre­serv­ing Gozo’s unique cul­tural her­itage. He said that this pro­ject is in line with the gov­ern­ment’s vi­sion to trans­form Gozo into a unique des­ti­na­tion.

‘’The is­land’s rich cul­tural and his­tor­i­cal her­itage is in­deed a unique con­trib­u­tor for the is­land’s tourism prod­uct and a ma­jor eco­nomic re­source. Im­prov­ing the ap­pear­ance of our is­land, care for our nat­u­ral and cul­tural as­pects, re­spect for our tra­di­tions, reawak­en­ing of our her­itage are part of the Min­istry for Gozo strat­egy’’, said Mr Re­falo.

The Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of Her­itage Malta, Mr Ken­neth Gam­bin, said that Ta’ Kola Wind­mill restora­tion pro­ject is one of the Gozo projects which Her­itage Malta em­barked on and fi­nalised in re­cent years. Other projects in­volved were the ex­ten­sive con­ser­va­tion and in­ter­pre­ta­tion mea­sures at Ggan­tija Tem­ples and the trans­for­ma­tion of the Folk­lore Mu­seum in the Citadel into a His­toric House.

Mr Gam­bin thanked Her­itage Malta ex­per­tise and em­ploy­ees for their ef­forts to fin­ish suc­cess­fully the Ta’ Kola Wind­mill restora­tion pro­ject which was long and un­ex­pect­edly dif­fi­cult. He re­it­er­ated that Her­itage Malta is pre­sent­ing back to the pub­lic such an im­por­tant mon­u­ment, a land­mark in the cul­tural land­scape of Xagħra and Gozo.

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