Following the rehabilitation works of the main façade of the Archbishop’s Curia in Floriana, a new lighting system was inaugurated. This coincided with the feast of St Calcedonius which is being celebrated today (24th July), whose remains are found in the Curia chapel. The restoration of the side façade on Triq Oliver Friggieri (formerly Triq l-Argotti) was also inaugurated.
Overlooking St Calcedonius Square, the building with a wide main frontage, formerly known as Casa della Madonna di Manresa, was originally a one-storey retreat house with a height limit of 24 palmi, as decreed by the Order of the Knights in 1744. This included a semi-basement floor underneath the entire building complex. The building was eventually extended at first-floor level, comprising two large halls. The major structural intervention, and the addition of the first floor, commenced in the 1860s. The building complex suffered extensive damage during the Second World War.
The Archbishop’s Curia has an imposing main entrance flanked by a pair of columns on either side of an external flight of stairs. An intricate sculptural group of Our Lady holding the child Jesus, flanked by St John the Baptist and St Paul the Apostle, sits atop of the main door. The other detailing of the imposing façade was never completed. There are only two windows at ground floor level complete with sculpted sills and lintels.
Michael Pace Ross, the Administrative Secretary of the Archbishop’s Curia, said that the next phase will entail the restoration of a house situated in Triq l-Iljun corner with Triq Vincenzo Bugeja, which is linked to the Curia, and which will eventually be transformed into an evangelisation hub. Mr Pace Ross said that the Curia’s façade lighting was done meticulously and according to the highest standards of lighting historical buildings. He thanked Melloncelli s.r.l., based in the province of Mantova in Italy, who were entrusted with the lighting system. The project was financed by the Archdiocese of Malta who in recent years has stepped up its efforts in various parishes to ensure that Catholic heritage is restored for present and future generations.