Xaghra Basilica is currently undergoing restoration works. The works, which started three years ago, are being supervised by architect Saviour Micallef after consultation with Innocent Cintorino, an expert in stone restoration, who had been asked to estimate the damages and to make his proposals.
The first part of the project consisted of restoring the leaking roof. An area of 1,150 square metres was covered with an Acrylflex system of waterproofing. The basilica's cupola was also restored with a layer of waterproofing material.
Last year, scaffolding started being raised for works to restore the left hand bell tower. This posed a great challenge to master mason Martin Attard, of Xaghra. The works mainly consisted of the removal and replacement of the frieze, the cornice and the balustrade and cleaning of the stonework. The work on this bell tower was completed just three days before the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady celebrated in Xaghra on September 8. Work on the second bell tower is expected to commence soon.
The project, financed by donations, was initially estimated to cost Lm60,000, but the finished cost is expected to be much higher. With 65 per cent of the project completed, Lm48,000 have already been spent. It is estimated that another Lm45,000 will be required to finish the whole project. Archpriest Eucharist Sultana, while thanking the parishioners for their continued support, is appealing for more donations. Any contributions are to be made payable to Xaghra parish church and addressed to the Xaghra parish office, Victory Square, Xaghra. All donations will be acknowledged.
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