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