On Thursday 30th June 2022, the restored miraculous icon of Our Lady of Damascus was officially inaugurated at the Greek-Catholic church in Valletta. The conservation and restoration project, which took about three years to conclude, was successfully carried out by the firm Atelier del Restauro (Malta).
This was a very delicate task, given the icon is around one thousand years old and needed a lot of consolidation. Long years of exposure to the elements, without any protection, took their toll on the icon. Fortunately, the conserved and restored icon is now housed in a beautifully sculptured oak niche and protected by special (acrylic) glass.
Moreover, it is being constantly monitored for humidity and other factors which might harm it. The icon of Our Lady of Damascus can now be admired and venerated in all its spiritual and artistic beauty.
Honouring the event with their distinguished presence were President of Malta Dr George Vella and Mrs Vella; Archbishop Charles Jude Scicluna; Dr Owen Bonnici, Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts, and the Local Government; the Chairman and officials from APS Bank, part-sponsors of the project, various ambassadors, members of the Greek-Catholic community, and other distinguished guests.
The evening’s programme, directed by Papàs Martin Zammit, Parish Priest of the Greek-Catholic community, included a brief talk about the history of the icon by Mons. George Mifsud, a presentation about the conservation and restoration of the icon by Dr Maria Grazia Zenzani of the Atelier del Restauro, and brief addresses by the Archbishop and the President. The programme also included three Marian hymns sung by the choir of the Greek-Catholic church.