The public will be given free entrance to previously inaccessible areas of the Grand Master’s Palace after months of renovations by Heritage Malta, Culture Minister Owen Bonnici said on Tuesday. 

The open day, taking place on December 11, will allow entrants to explore the palace and many rooms that have never been accessible to the public such as the halls that serve as the president’s office and the newly restored state rooms. 

“The public will be able to follow the restoration project in its various phases by visiting halls where works are still being carried out, areas where works are yet to commence, and rooms where restoration has been completed,” Bonnici said. 

The restoration works will cost around €30 million. Photo: Jonathan Borg.The restoration works will cost around €30 million. Photo: Jonathan Borg.

Guests will be allowed to explore the areas either by themselves or as part of a tour group, tours starting every hour from 9.30am until the last guided shift at 4.30pm. 

This event will be the final time the public will be able to see the palace with ongoing works, the project also modernising the building with TVs and projections showing historical trivia. 

Bonnici said that the project, which is Heritage Malta’s most extensive renovation, is to be completed by 2025. A large part of the renovations will be finished halfway through 2023 with sections opening up for viewing as they are completed. 

The ongoing works will cost around €30 million, €8.4 million of which are co-financed by the European Union as part of the European Regional Development Fund.

Certain areas can’t be fully restored due to technological limitations and these rooms are being preserved until solutions can be found.  

EU Funds Parliamentary Secretary Chris Bonnet highlighted the importance of EU funds on such cultural projects. 

“It is important to tell the stories that are made possible with EU funding,” he said after explaining his personal connection to the building.

“I fell in love with our country’s story,” he said, reminiscing on a childhood school visit to the palace. 

Bonnici closed his speech by saying that the “government is committed to delivering initiatives which preserve, restore and rehabilitate our historical patrimony".

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