Acting Governor of Malta Sarcophagus being rebuilt through BOV’s Support

Last Updated on Monday, 14 November, 2022 at 8:56 am by Andre Camilleri

A sarcophagus, built on the grave of Colonel Morshead’s tomb is being rebuilt from scratch following painstaking research by Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna through Bank of Valletta’s support.

Colonel Henry Anderson Morshead was Colonel Commandant of the Royal Engineers and Acting Lieutenant Governor at Malta when he died on 11 November 1831. He was given a public funeral and was buried at the Saluting Battery, at the Upper Barracca Gardens in the fashion established by the British after their establishment in Malta in 1800 where important public figures were buried on promontories on the fortifications of Valletta. A fine classical Greek sarcophagus was built on his grave by his wife. The work was conducted by Maltese sculptors using local stone. The monuments survived until 1960 when for some unknown reason, the upper part was removed leaving only its lower tier and stepped platform. The part removed has been lost.

With the purpose of restoring what remains from this monument and to reconstruct its missing part, Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna researched the history of the tomb and also the life of the person for whom it was erected. For this purpose, a full-scale architectural maquette, a plaster version of the original was constructed. This serves the purpose of establishing the correct proportions and fine architectural details and will serve as the model for the builder and sculptor to reconstruct the missing part of the monument in stone.

The maquette, which is weatherproof, was unveiled by Mario Farrugia, Executive Chairman at Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna and Charles Azzopardi, Head, CSR Dept at Bank of Valletta during the Armistice Day Commemoration Ceremony held at the Saluting Battery on the 11th November, which coincides with date when Colonel Morshead passed away.

‘The maquette will provide the public with the opportunity of visualising how it originally looked and completes the look of the Saluting Battery,’ said Mario Farrugia. ‘Thanks to Bank of Valletta’s support, we were able to conduct in-depth research on the monument and Col Morshead, and these will be published in book form to further raise funds for the full reconstruction of the monument.’

‘At Bank of Valletta, we strongly believe in the important role we play within the Maltese Community and are always looking at ways to enhance our Corporate Social Responsibility’ said Mr Azzopardi. ‘Our Heritage is a major source of our identity, and we strive to support projects that preserve our heritage for future generations and take this opportunity to publicly thank Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna for its active role in this sector.

Bank of Valletta is a very active player within the community in which it operates, supporting various projects for the benefit of the Maltese society through its Environmental, Social and Governance commitments.

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