Geological studies are in the pipeline to establish the cause of the structural deterioration of the iconic Annunciation Chapel next to the Laferla Cross in Siġġiewi.

The ultimate objective is to restore it, National Heritage Minister Jose Herrera said on Wednesday in Parliament.

He was replying to a parliamentary question filed by Opposition MP Ryan Callus, who asked about developments following the joint study by the local council and the Ecclesiastical authorities.  

In his reply the minister said that following preliminary studies by the Restoration Directorate, a collaboration agreement was signed with the Church for further geological studies.

The findings will be used to established what form of restoration will be required. A call for tenders will be issued to consolidate the structural integrity of this historic chapel. 

In 2014, European funds totalling €300,000 were allocated for pavements, and the resurfacing and embellishment of the area around the chapel.

No intervention was carried out on the chapel itself.  

After falling into a state of disrepair in 1494, the original chapel had collapsed as a result of earthquakes in 1693 and 1856.  The current chapel was built in 1857 but was once again crippled by structural issues to the point that it is no longer accessible. 

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