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Restoration works start on Valletta’s Siege Bell

Heritage Malta starts work on the WW2 memorial.

Heritage Malta has just commenced restoration works on the Siege Bell War Memorial in Valletta, which commemorates the victims of the Second World War in Malta.

The Siege Bell War Memorial occupies the lower part of St Christopher’s Bastion, overlooking the Grand Harbour. The monument, designed by renowned British artist Michael Sandle, was erected in memory of the victims of the Second World War in Malta, who totalled more than 7000. It was officially inaugurated on May 29, 1992, commemorating the 50th anniversary since the awarding of the George Cross to Malta for the display of bravery and valour during the bleak years of 1940-1942.

The structure sits over a lower ground floor enclosed space with an open first floor superstructure that encloses the belfry, offering its visitors a splendid view of the port and all the surrounding fortifications. The imposing bronze bell, the largest in Malta, tolls in honour of the fallen every day at noon. In front of the bell is a bronze sculpture that symbolizes the burial at sea of the unknown soldier.

The bell holds on two massive concrete corbels. The external hardstone cladding is showing signs of serious deterioration of the concrete structure, arising from its exposed location. Structural reinforcing and repair works were required to prevent any further damage.
The project will also see the consolidation of the waterproofing layers, that includes the relaying of the hardstone floors over the reinstated concrete floors.

Works will include any other necessary structural reinforcing works to the cupola, ring-beams and substructure, resulting in a general refurbishment of the monument’s internal and external spaces.

The project, funded by national funds totalling to around €700,000, is envisaged to near completion by the end of 2024. The monument will not be accessible to the public while works are underway.

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