A 256-year-old bronze bell pealed once again at Dingli parish church on Monday after almost ending up in the scrap heap.
The bell had suffered considerable damage over its long years of use, eventually developing two cracks due to a botched repair job that had ruined its tonality.
“It went from sounding like a bell, to sounding like a tank – no ring at all,” said conservation consultant Kenneth Cauchi, who led the restoration project.
Mr Cauchi, a campanologist, said the bell was a part of the island's cultural heritage as it was among the last ever made by Aloisio Bouchut - the master founder of the Order’s Ferreria in Valletta.
The founder of more than 40 known bells, Bouchut made two of the large bells that ring from atop St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta.
He said the Dingli bell had suffered ‘wear and tear’ over its decades of use and efforts to repair it at the Malta Drydocks had actually resulted in the damage developing into two major cracks which all but destroyed it.
The restoration project, supported by the government's Good Causes Fund, saw the bell shipped to the UK where a foundry specialised in restoring bronze returned it to its former glory.
Dingli parish priest Fr Mark Mallia Pawley said the bell was a central part of the Dingli community.
“Hearing it ring once again will be a sound that many in this parish will welcome,” he said.
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