The St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation has announced that on Monday the 19th of March, the public can visit the Co-Cathedral for free. The event will be held from 5pm onwards and visitors will also have the opportunity to view the internal gallery which was recently re-opened for the public.
“Through an inclusive and accessible culture, we are able to increase awareness of this vast sector which has a sound foundation in our country, especially when it comes to our identity,” stated Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici. “I will keep on working to ensure that these events keep happening, and increase as well. I strongly believe that we should continue sharing our rich history and culture, and that we should always ensure that culture is accessible to everyone. These open days have become quite popular and it is evident that they are sought by the public – in fact during the last Heritage Malta open day, which occurred at the Tarxien Temples, there were more than six thousand visitors,” he continued.
Wilfrid Buttigieg, President of the St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation, explained that this new aspect in the visitors’ route has been very well received. “Ever since its opening people have been sharing more photos on social media of this spectacular view of the Co-Cathedral. Our aim as a Foundation is that the Maltese population at large enjoys and appreciates the beauty of this national treasure.” Buttigieg went on to explain that “the Foundation has started a dialogue with other local entities such as Heritage Malta with the aim of strengthening the Maltese cultural product through collaboration.”
Cynthia de Giorgio, curator of St John’s Co-Cathedral explained the function of the balcony, which serves as connection and gives access from inside to the bell towers and was embellished together with the main door under the Grand Master Nicholas Cotoner.
Noel Zammit, Heritage Malta’s CEO has announced other initiatives which will be of benefit to the Maltese and Gozitan public. “We are in fact promoting a ‘Cultural/Heritage Day’ together on Monday 19th March where the Maltese public can visit two Heritage Malta sites; the Roman Domus and the St. Paul’s Catacombs, both in Rabat, from morning till the afternoon then proceed to visit St John’s Co-Cathedral in the evening, all being free of charge,” said Zammit.
Michael Pace Ross, the Administrative Secretary of the Archdiocese of Malta, praised the model administrative partnership between state and church expressed through the Foundation. Mr Pace Ross said that the Archdiocese is cooperating with the competent authorities in promoting faith-based tourism, and giving access to the viewing gallery of the Co-Cathedral was another step in enhancing the experience of such visitors. The Archdiocese also encourages locals to visit the St John's Co-Cathedral on the 19th March.