Extensive restoration and conservation works in and around a large part of Fort St Angelo were today given Mepa's go ahead.

The project will ensure that Fort St Angelo is safeguarded and given a new lease of life.

The first phase of the approved project will include conservation works for the adaptive re-use of the middle level of the fort including the barrack blocks and the cavalier.

The works include the reconstruction of historical features, which are considered relevant to defining the fort and structures that were removed in the recent years or have deteriorated.

This phase will also include the change of use for museum space and supporting facilities while the main piazza will be paved with flagstones.

Phase two works will include the restoration and adaptive re-use of the lower level of the fort including the ramparts below the Cavalier, D'Homedes Bastion and the area around the passageway leading down to De Guiral Battery.

Other interventions will include the addition of sanitary facilities and the reinstatement of two traverse walls.

Phase three works will consolidate and conserve the outer fortifications, including the structures of the De Guiral Battery.

During this phase major works will be focused on the re-construction of the embrasure adjoining the Cavalier on the east side and the underpinning and replacing the 'missing volume' of rock faces, especially in the area overlooking Kalkara Creek and the Menqa areas.

The project excludes the upper part of the fort, which is administered by the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the areas being redeveloped by the Cottonera Waterfront Group.

Although the exact details of the earlier use of the site, where Fort St Angelo is built are not clear, it is linked to the pre-historic period.

Today's layout of the Fort is largely attributed to the design of Colonel Don Carlos de Grunenburgh who in the late 17th Century, paid for the construction of four gun batteries on the side of the fort facing the entrance to Grand Harbour. Grunenburgh was also responsible for the construction of the rest of the enceinte around the upper part of the Fort and also the main gate.

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