Valletta, Malta Anton Buttigieg mcc opening 1979
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A new lease of life for a Valletta landmark

Description

This archive footage shows some of the extensive restoration work carried out in Valletta in 1979.

The aim was to breathe new life into the tip of the Valletta peninsula, with a massive facelift for the Mediterranean Conference Centre and the construction of a new landscaped area for the Siege Bell Memorial.

The monument, erected in memory of those who died during the Second World War, was formally unveiled by The Queen in 1992.

The film also shows the restoration one of Valletta’s largest buildings, the Sacra Infermeria, now known as the Mediterranean Conference Centre.

It was originally built in the 16th century, during the reign of Grand Master Jean de la Cassiere, as an infirmary for the Knights of the Order of St John and was considered to be one of the best hospitals in Europe at the time, capable of accommodating around 900 patients.

Between 1800 and 1918, the building was used by British Army and Royal Navy as a military hospital. Thanks to its proximity to the Grand Harbour, the sick and wounded were transported by ship for treatment in Malta.

After the First World War, the Sacra Infermeria housed the headquarters of the Malta Police until the start of the Second World War, during which time the building sustained serious bomb damage.

Gradually, the old building was reconstructed and restored, and officially opened by the President of Malta Anton Buttigieg in 1979.

 

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