St John’s Co-Cathedral is run by The St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation. The Foundation members of St John’s Co-Cathedral are custodians of this national treasure. We are governed by a Council Board: three members appointed by the Archbishop of Malta and other three are appointed by the Office of Prime Minister. The CEO is Mr Tonio Mallia, who leads the Executive.
The Council of the Foundation
1st August 2022 – 31 July 2023
Prof. Rev. Emmanuel Agius (President)
Mr Glenn Micallef, Mr Frank Zammit, Mr Matthew Zerafa, Mgr Paul Carmel Vella (Rector) & Mgr Salvinu Micallef
Our mission is to ensure the effective conservation and management of St John’s Co-Cathedral as a historic and architectural monument and as a living sacred place of worship. We strive to make St John’s Co-Cathedral enriching to our visitors’ lives by promoting research, cultural knowledge and enjoyment following these objectives.
• To administer the Museum of the Co-Cathedral so that this monument and its richness could be more appreciated and enjoyed by the public.
• Without affecting the integrity of the sacred and the historical nature of the church, the administration of the Foundation generates revenue for the maintenance, restoration and conservation of the St John’s Co-Cathedral and its Museum.
• To promote St John’s Co-Cathedral as a Research Centre and make it accessible for the benefit of the public, scholars and researchers.
The New Museum is an ambitious project which will transform St John’s Co-Cathedral. The best designers, architects and restorers are going to create new galleries and visitor facilities, while restoring the beauty of some parts of the old Museum into an immersive experience, allowing our hidden collections to be eloquently displayed.
Ever since it was established in 2001 following an agreement between the Government and the Catholic Church in Malta, the St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation has been the guardian of unquestionably the greatest artistic treasures to be seen in the Maltese Islands. Its purpose is to ensure that this heritage is conserved to internationally accepted standards while being accessible to the thousands of visitors who walk through the doors of St John’s Co-Cathedral.
2001-2002On the 31st July 2001, the St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation was established to administer and conserve the Co-Cathedral and its Museum. The Foundation is responsible for the material and cultural administration, whilst the Metropolitan Chapter is responsible for all religious services.
2002-2003• Restoration of the lunette windows situated in the Chapels of all the Langues of the Order.
• Extensive restoration was carried out on the roof of the side chapels.
• The bronze bust by Alessandro Algardi of “Christ the Saviour” which was originally placed on the façade of the Co-Cathedral was restored.
• Two brass lecterns on the altar representing Moses and St John were restored.
2003-2004• Restoration of the painting of St Charles Borromeo (2003)
• Restoration of the Organ balcony of the Oratory
2005-2006• Restoration of the Chapel of Italy (2006)
• Commencement of the restoration of the Lascaris Bell (2006)
2006-2007• The restoration project of the 29 tapestries commenced
• Completion of Stefano Pieri’s “Flagellation of Jesus Christ”
• The Foundation embarked on a project to expand and upgrade the Museum of St John’s to house several important artefacts.
2007-2008• Restoration of the Triumphal Arches
• Restoration on the Crucifixion group donated to the Co-Cathedral in 1653 by Commander Fr Felicaja
2008-2009• The Lascaris Bell was brought back to the Co-Cathedral after restoration from John Taylor Bell foundry of Loughborough in the United Kingdom.
• Restoration of the organ cases of the main altar.
2009-2010• Restoration of the main balcony over the main door (2009)
• Restoration started in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament and the 16th century Pulpit.
• Restoration of the Co-Cathedral’s entire dado (2010)
2010-2011• Restoration of the “Mascioni Organ”
• Restoration of the Chapel of Aragon (2010)
• Restoration of the sepulchral monuments of the Grand Master Ramon Perellos y Roccaful in the Chapel of Aragon, and its reredos
• Restoration of the sepulchral monument of the Grand Master Rafael Cotoner and Grand Master Martin de Redin.
• Completion of the restoration of the North and South Atriums (July 2011).
2011-2012• Restoration of the Chapel of Castile, Leon and Portugal, and the Chapel of Germany
• Restoration of Cappella Ardente
• Restoration of the sepulchral monument of Grand Master Adrian de Wignacourt.
2012-2013• An event was held to celebrate Mattia Preti’s Fourth centenary the “Mattia Preti 400 programme”
• Restoration of the lunette in the Vault of the Main Nave, “The Allegory of the Triumph of the Order of St John” commenced in 2012 and was completed in 2013
• Restoration on the Chapel of the Langue of Auvergne from 2012-2013
• Restoration of the liturgical Vestments
• Restoration of the three lanterns and metal gates facing Merchant street
2013-2014• Restoration of the monuments of Grand Master Jean-Paul de Lascaris Castellar, Grand Master Antoine de Paul, and Grand Master Emanuel Pinto.
• Commencement of the restoration of the façade and bell towers (2014)
• Restoration of the choir stalls and lectern and the Chapels of the Langue of France, Provence, and Anglo-Bavaria.
2014-2015• Restoration of the gilded walls (March 2014)
• Restoration of two Mattia Preti paintings located in the Oratory, “The Blessed Gerard Tending to the Sick” and “The Blessed Gerard and the Miracle of the Loaves”
• Completion of the restoration on the Co-Cathedral’s façade
2015-2016Commencement of a mapping project consisting of Graphic documentation and analysis on the state of conservation of the entire Co-Cathedral’s marble inlaid tombstones.
2016-2017• The foundation embarked on a major project to extend and refurbish the Co-Cathedral’s museum.
• A non-invasive geophysical survey campaign started to investigate the entire floor of the nave and side chapels.
2017-2018• Launch of the project to extend the museum of the Co-Cathedral and create exhibition spaces and the Caravaggio Wing which will house Caravaggio’s St Jerome amongst other installations
• Completion of the restoration of the clock of the south bell tower
• Restoration of the marble sculpture of “The Head of St John the Baptist” and the gilded wooden mural plaque in the Oratory
• Restoration of the marble pilasters in the nave
2018-2019• Creation of a Web and Mobile App of the Co-Cathedral
• Restoration of the “Crucifixion Group” and altar of the Grand Masters’ Crypt
• Completion of the restoration of “The Coronation of the Virgin” (2018)
• Completion of the restoration of the main façade and the belfries in January
2019-2020• Restoration of two tapestries from the collection of the “Triumph of the Eucharist and Scenes from the Life of Christ”
• Restoration of the exterior walls (West-wing), clerestory level and parvis
• Inauguration of the Grand Masters Crypt (Feb 2020)
• Photographic documentation of the Co-Cathedral’s tombstones
• Restoration of the painting, “St John emerges from Limbo” and Mattia Preti’s St Ubaldesca
• Installation of a new Timber lantern for the Oratory (August 2020)
• Memorandum of Understanding between the Foundation and Heritage Malta for the Heritage Malta Passport
• Founding of the St John’s Co-Cathedral Children’s Choir
2021-• The conservation project within the Oratory initiated this year. The conservation programme includes three major projects: the restoration of the wooden gilded soffit, three oil on canvas paintings within the soffit and two lateral oil on canvas paintings in the apse, the works are by Mattia Preti.
• The ongoing restoration project undertaken on the façade and clerestory level consists of the upper-level façade on the lunette, oval windows, abutment levels and receded façade. The project extended to the North Wing overlooking St John Street, Republic Street and Great Siege Square.
• This year, the New Museum project for the Tapestry Hall has commenced.
• Works within the Caravaggio Wing are also underway. The Caravaggio Wing was initially the residence of the Grand Prior of the Order and will house Caravaggio’s St Jerome Writing.