In February 2016 The Eden Leisure Group pledged their support to Din l-Art Ħelwa for the refurbishment of the church’s 18th century organ. This is another milestone in the restoration of Our Lady of Victory Church, reputed to be the first building in Valletta following the Great Siege in 1565.
Kate de Cesare from the Eden Leisure Group along with Maria Grazia Cassar from Din L-Art Ħelwa met with restorer Robert Buhagiar this week to view the progress. In a few short months, Mr Buhagiar has completed a replica of the keyboard using the same techniques and materials as would have been used originally. He also painstakingly restored the 287 pipes, and those non salvageable have been replaced by Italian metal experts.
Din l-Art Ħelwa has entrusted Robert Buhagiar B. Eng (Hons) with the reconstruction and assembling of this precious instrument. It has been a laborious process over the past year involving a complete restoration.
The exact date of the instrument is not known but studies relate to a payment made to Mastro Pietro Santucci in 1790 when the organ builder was paid 200 Scudi for the construction and installation of the organ. The instrument stood within a baroque wooden pipe organ cabinet in the organ loft above the main entrance, where it will be re-enstated.
The organ should be fully restored by the end of this year, in time for Valletta 2018, when Valletta is showcased as the European capital of culture.