On St Joseph’s Day, March 19, a public holiday, Gozo Bishop Mario Grech was taken around the whole three floors of the ERDF-supported museum being built by Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria near St George’s Basilica in Victoria.
The various sections and aims were explained by Project Co-ordinator Mgr Ġużeppi Farrugia. During this “official” visit, Mgr Grech, who is also Dean of St George’s Collegiate Chapter, was accompanied by Archpriest Mgr Pawlu Cardona, other members of the presbyterium and supporters.
At the information meeting held later in the parish centre’s Aula Mgr Giuseppe Farrugia, the Bishop repeated how impressed he was. A long series of photos were projected of the work undertaken and of artists’ impressions, while FBV Chair and Project Leader Antoine Vassallo gave a birds’ eye view of the past months, also referring to certain problems faced. Various points were clarified while the vision was explained further. Mgr Grech reiterated his full support for further developments envisaged, emphasising diocesan religious tourism co-operation.
In fact this museum-cum-centre, due to open its doors towards the end of 2012, is aimed at the cultural tourism niche but is also intended to help the parish in its pastoral efforts, by for example permitting continued free access without hindering proper sacramental and liturgical functioning. Obviously the safety of exhibits is essential, restoring as necessary. This aspect has already been initiated, involving paintings and statues. Eco-Gozo funding was also instrumental for the former main marble altar to return to its polychromatic glory.
The visit concluded with a friends’ dinner at the parish house.