As part of its social corporate responsibility programme, Tumas Group is supporting the restoration, conservation and redecoration of the interior of the Old Parish Church of St Julian, known as ‘Lapsi Church’. This project is being undertaken by the Għaqda Dilettanti Knisja ta’ Lapsi, San Ġiljan, a voluntary organisation (VO/1891) set up almost two decades ago to care for the artistic and cultural patrimony related to this church.
The project being undertaken by the voluntary organisation includes the restoration, conservation and redecoration of the interior of the Old Parish Church of St Julian. The first phase of this project addressed the humidity and salty limestone which resulted in cracks and deformations in the paint layer and deterioration in some parts of the stonework. The skirting was stripped and treated before being plastered and painted with hydraulic lime products to allow for proper ventilation. Areas of stonework which had detached were rebuilt. An intervention was also undertaken on the outside of the Church to remove travertine slabs that had been placed to line the Church perimiter a few years back and that were not allowing the passage of air into the walls resulting in high levels of humidity. This phase of the work, which also involved the whitewashing of the entire Church interior, was conducted under the direction of Mr Silvio Pace, an artist specialising in Ecclesiastical decorative arts. The second phase, that of the redecoration of the Church, is being undertaken under the direction of the same artist and is being supported by Tumas Group.
This phase includes the gilding in 23 krt gold of all the salient features of architecture of the Church, including parts of the choir, the nave, as well as the side altars and arches topping each altar and side doors. This is being undertaken by gilder Omar Camilleri. It involves meticulous work, including the application of preparatory layers, placing of the gold leaf, polishing and the application of a specialised form of varnish. The side altars are also being decorated by another artist – George Portelli, whose speciality is the finto marmo technique. After applying two white undercoat layers, Mr Portelli applies a layer of paint of different colours and using pieces of cloth faintly brushes off some of the paint applied, to create a marble effect.
Through its corporate social responsibility programme, Tumas Group is committed to carrying out all its activities responsibly and in ways that make a positive difference to people’s lives and assists carefully-selected organisations which work to safeguard our local traditions, support the arts, and enrich people’s lives. Tumas Group promotes the arts, culture and traditions of the Maltese Islands.
It is in this spirit that Tumas Group is supporting the restoration, conservation and redecoration of the interior of the Old Parish Church of St Julian, a place of worship with a history spanning four centuries, which gave its name to the locality of St Julian’s and which stands as a reminder of the humble origins of what used to be a small fishing village. The Tumas Group holds its corporate office at Portomaso, which it developed and has become a jewel in its crown, contributing towards a new added community within St Julian's, offering employment and adding to the locality’s development. The Group is proud to support efforts to restore and conserve the historical patrimony bequethed to the people of St Julian’s by its forefathers.