Baron Group sponsors Saint Cecilia Chapel restoration
The Baron Group has undertaken to sponsor the restoration of the Saint Cecilia Chapel situated at the very boundary of the village of Ghajnsielem. Partly dilapidated but still in its original form it is considered one of the best surviving examples of the un-aisled chapels that were once common in the Maltese Islands.
The Baron Group has a specialised division, Baron Contracts, which is the refurbishing arm of the Group with 18 years experience in the industry. It is renowned for its attention to detail, quality workmanship and the efficiency of its services and has been entrusted with a cross section of projects including large restoration works of sensitive heritage value such as the Comino and Dwejra Towers.
Architectural surveys were undertaken to determine the extent of the work that is to be carried out, especially as the chapel has great historic and architectural value. The first phase of the restoration on the chapel walls is well under way. Two of the walls had collapsed and utilising old photos as guidelines, they are being rebuilt exactly as in their original state using the same actual stones salvaged from the site. The restoration project will feature the rebuilding of the exterior walls and the restoration of the façade as well as the room next to the chapel, which is thought to have originally been a sacristy. The roofs of both the chapel and the adjoining room were partly caved in and are being rebuilt utilising the traditional medieval techniques.
Since the restoration works started part of the roofs of both chapel and room especially the ceiling slabs which were fissured, have been removed to be substituted.
The interior of the Saint Cecilia Chapel is supported by huge arches under which a temporary stone structure was built to support both the weight of arches and roof. This has helped removing the excess lateral exertion on the external walls. This provisional structure will now be removed as the original arches will be repaired and restored. The walls which have also been severely damaged by fire, will be cleaned and re-conditioned to their original state.
The works on the St Cecilia Chapel restoration project are expected to be completed by June 2009.