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Bir Miftuh
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Bir Miftuh


Bir Miftuh

When the NGO Din l-Art Ħelwa undertook the conservation of the Bir Miftuħ frescoes in 2010, it engaged the Department of the Built Heritage as consultants on the project.
The church of Santa Marija ta’ Bir Miftuħ was probably built in the early 15th century. The wall paintings preserved in the church are among the few remaining late medieval frescoes in Malta. The painting on the wall above the main entrance depicts the Last Judgement, whilst the fresco on the north wall depicts a woman holding a lily. The clothes the woman wears were fashionable during the beginning of the sixteenth century, suggesting that the fresco dates to that period. However, the exact date of the frescoes is still debated.  In 2006 an area of the fresco on the entrance wall was seen to be deteriorated as a consequence of an infiltration of rainwater from the roof.  After commissioning a detailed condition report, Din L-Art Ħelwa embarked on a full-scale conservation project, which was concluded in 2011.  
The work carried out by the Department of the Built Heritage involved the monitoring of environmental conditions for more than one year. Consultations were held on a regular basis with Din l-Art Ħelwa and the restorers on several aspects of the project starting from the assessment of the conservation problems of the frescoes, and continuing with the choice of materials and methods to be used for their conservation. Advice was also offered on compatible measures to prevent water infiltration from the roof and the lighting system to be installed in the church...
Further information on this project can be viewed at:


 One of the many site visits at Bir Miftuh chapel.

Last Updated: 30 September 2011

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