Research Innovation and Development Trust

The Melita Foundation is contributing in part to the conservation of the Great Siege wall painting by Matteo Perez D’Aleccio, coordinated by the Research, Innovation and Development Trust. The Great Siege of 1565 was documented in 12 episodes on the walls of the Grand Master’s Palace in Valletta 12 years after the event that shaped Malta’s history. Known as D’Aleccio’s cycle, the wall paintings give the most detailed and historically accurate visual document of the Great Siege.

Created in 1575-1581 by Matteo Perez d’Aleccio, the Great Siege cycle was the first monumental painting scheme commissioned by the Order of St John, and is the most accurate visual document of the Siege itself, created within 10-15 years of the event, and drawing from many eyewitness accounts.

The paintings constitute an extraordinary historical document, which continue to serve as enduring symbols for the identity of the modern nation. The paintings, which grace the Throne Room of the President’s palace in Valletta, are not only important historically, but are always in the public eye, as this is the main room of the Palace where the President often hosts State functions. Their state of conservation is however such that treatment is now becoming quite urgent, also because of previous leaks in the overlying roof. The project is being undertaken by the Department of Conservation of Built Heritage within the University of Malta, with the collaboration of Heritage Malta, and contributions from various benefactors.

The final outcome of the project will be the full conservation of the wall paintings, with their being stabilised, cleaned and presented to the public as they are meant to be seen and enjoyed.

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