In a windy and a rather cold evening, on Tuesday 22nd April, H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta, unveiled the restored statue of St. Gregory, situated in the square right in front of the Old Parish Church of St Catherine at Żejtun.
The evening started with a speech prepared and read by Mr Anthony Spagnol, an artist and professional restorer from Żejtun. He spoke about the artistic importance of this work of art and described the conservation philosophy adopted by Wirt iż-Żejtun when intervening on the statue. If you would like to read the speech (only a Maltese version is available) you can click here.
Mr Evan Plumpton played three pieces on his classical guitar, with the first piece played just after the first speech and the other two played at the intervals of the poetry reading.
Perit Ruben Abela, President and Founder of Wirt iż-Żejtun, delivered a short speech just before the unveiling of the statue. The comperes, Ms Christine Dallie and Mr Etienne Schembri, invited H.E. to unveil the restored statue together with Perit Abela.
H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta, gave her speech which focused on the historical value of this monument and the old church in its vicinity and on Pope Gregory the Great, in particular with regards to his love to the poor ones.
The ceremony ended up by the reading of the “Ballata ta’ San Girgor”, a long poem which was written by Mr Walter Zahra, soon after the discovery of the secret passages in the wall thickness of the Old Parish Church in the late 1960s. The poem was read by Mr Frans Zahra and Ms Josephine Mifsud.
Those present praised the initiative taken by Wirt iż-Żejtun to restore this artistic gem and for the cultural evening organised.