Malta: Palazzo Bettina update

The process of restoration and restructuring of Palazzo Bettina at Birgu, Malta and its subsequent conversion to a luxury boutique hotel by the company MH44 ltd, is by no means a simple and straightforward project to execute.

The director of MH44 has had a solid presence in Malta which spans over 30 years and although he specialises mainly in other fields of activity, his intention in investing his time and money in such a project to embellish and give new life to a dilapidated Maltese historic palace. He was looking for a typical historic building in a dilapidated state and under his personal direction wished that he would carry out restoration works to give value to the surrounding areas. His mission was beyond speculation of the building, but more of a value added project to Malta’s Heritage.

One such building is Palazzo Bettina in Birgu that was built at a time when the knights of St. John were sailing all over the Mediterranean sea to liberate the land of the Holy Sepulchre.

The project in carrying out restoration works at Palazzo Bettina requires non-conventional work processes that planning and heritage authorities make mandatory to follow in view of the architectural and historic nature of the building and that nobody would dream to take in hand easily. In fact, this Palazzo, has undergone several change in ownerships, with no one ownership ever having concretely managed to re embellish such a complex building successfully.

In view of the dilapidated state of the structure at the time it was taken over by the Director, it was anticipated that the cost of restoration and restructuring would be very high because the original building fabric had to be retained and finishes had to be made only by hand, having also a large cost of double handling works. One of the requirements was to restore the Maltese Globigerina Limestone to its original glory, leaving it fair faced as is typical in vernacular Maltese architecture. The Director, together with one of the local leading Restoration Architecture companies, emphasise that this is a gift which will be given back to Malta by means of its conservation as the architectural gem which it was initially intended to be. This included works which would save it from further degradation and possible demolition, together with the help of the Heritage Planning Unit and the Planning Authority.

Finally, the project aims include:

  • The restoration and bringing back to life one of the oldest and most prestigious palaces in Birgu
    to engage expert and skilled craftsmen and restorers to work with dedication and commitment to give to the Birgu Community and to the thousands of tourists visiting the island a splendid example of an historic palace constructed in Maltese stone.
  • To carry out a delicate restoration regime to the structure forecasted to be completed in winter 2019. This will allow the residents/visitors to the Boutique Hotel to feel and experience the millennial history and culture of Malta.
  • To embark on a financial commitment to allow Palazzo Bettina to remain a showpiece of the construction capacity of the local community of Birgu for centuries to come.
  • To give added value to the locality of Birgu and its environs.
  • To increase economic activity in the area, but more so of quality service.

More info at www.palazzobettina.com (SOON AVAILABLE)