Sir Cameron Mack­in­tosh do­nates €100,000 to save Val­letta Sky­line Restora­tion Ap­peal

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - NEWS -

Bil­lion­aire the­atri­cal pro­ducer Sir Cameron Mack­in­tosh has do­nated a gen­er­ous €100,000 to the restora­tion ap­peal set up to save St Paul’s Angli­can Pro-Cathe­dral in Val­letta.

Sir Cameron – whose mother was of Mal­tese de­scent and whose suc­cesses in­clude Les Misérables, The Phan­tom of the Opera and Mary Pop­pins – said he was “de­lighted” to form part of this pro­ject that aims to re­store the tower, the 60-me­tre spire and in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal stonework which have de­te­ri­o­rated dra­mat­i­cally in re­cent years.

Sir Cameron, who owns a res­i­dence in Malta’s cap­i­tal, said, “Val­letta, a city full of his­toric build­ings, would not be the same with­out this splen­did land­mark. It is so im­por­tant that jew­els like St Paul’s are main­tained for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to ad­mire. Once they are gone, they are gone as we have seen from the very sad re­cent col­lapse of the Azure Win­dow in Gozo.”

The Bri­tish the­atri­cal pro- ducer’s con­tri­bu­tion to the cause fol­lows a per­sonal do­na­tion by Prince Charles, who wor­shipped at the cathe­dral while still an un­der­grad­u­ate at the Uni­ver­sity of Cam­bridge dur­ing which he made two un­of­fi­cial vis­its to Malta on hol­i­day in 1968 and 1970.

The Prince of Wales also plans to tour the cathe­dral next month dur­ing a visit to Malta to com­mem­o­rate the 75th an­niver­sary of the award­ing of the Ge­orge Cross to the is­land for its role dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.

The cam­paign group be­hind the St Paul’s Angli­can ProCathe­dral Save Val­letta’s Sky­line Restora­tion Ap­peal, set up last Fe­bru­ary, is work­ing tire­lessly to raise the €3 mil­lion needed for the restora­tion of the Val­letta land­marks built be­tween 1839 and 1844. Cam­paign co-chair­man Martin Sci­cluna said: “We have been hugely en­cour­aged by Sir Cameron’s most gen­er­ous re­sponse to our ap­peal, and those of other fam­ily trusts, foun­da­tions and in­di­vid­u­als in Malta and the United King­dom.

“The sup­port we have re­ceived from ev­ery part of Mal­tese so­ci­ety – the Pres­i­dent, the gov­ern­ment, re­li­gious bod­ies, the busi­ness com­mu­nity – and from many parts of the world has been amaz­ing and has en­abled us to get to a won­der­ful fig­ure of over €500,000 in only six months.

“We look forward to wel­com­ing The Prince of Wales to the Cathe­dral next month to see for him­self how needed was his do­na­tion and that of Sir Cameron, whom we also hope to wel­come be­fore too long”.

Mean­while, one of Malta’s lead­ing ar­chi­tec­tural firms, Ar­chi­tec­ture Pro­ject (AP), has been en­gaged to un­der­take the restora­tion work, which it is hoped will be­gin by the first quar­ter of next year once all the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions have been com­pleted, so that this im­por­tant Grade1 Listed Build­ing will con­tinue to be open dur­ing Val­letta’s Euro­pean Cap­i­tal of Cul­ture cel­e­bra­tions in 2018.

Mean­while, one of Malta’s lead­ing ar­chi­tec­tural firms, AP, has been en­gaged to un­der­take the restora­tion work which it is hoped will be­gin by the first quar­ter of next year once all the tech­ni­cal sur­veys and plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions for the Grade 1 listed build­ing have been com­pleted.

The Duke of Ed­in­burgh is pa­tron of the Friends of the Cathe­dral and the Pres­i­dent of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca has also given her pa­tron­age to the Ap­peal and, to­gether with other pa­trons, has been most sup­port­ive of the cause.

Sci­cluna adds, “We have been hugely as­sisted in our ef­forts by the un­stint­ing sup­port which has been of­fered by Mal­tese, Bri­tish and other vol­un­teers in rais­ing funds for the Ap­peal through the or­gan­i­sa­tion of events and in en­cour­ag­ing in­di­vid­u­als, char­i­ties and foun­da­tions through their per­sonal con­tacts in the United King­dom and Malta to sup­port us.”

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