Torri l-Abjad (White Tower) in l-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa has been inaugurated after an extensive restoration project carried out by Din l-Art Ħelwa with the support of the HSBC Malta Foundation. The inauguration took place in the presence of Mellieħa Local Council Mayor Dario Vella. Originally built by the Knights in 1658, and redeveloped in around 1716, the project to rehabilitate the iconic Torri l-Abjad has taken three years to complete. The HSBC Malta Foundation has been the lead supporter of this extensive and challenging three year project which has seen the imposing heritage building being restored from a decaying and abandoned site to one that will house student and meeting facilities, a visitor centre and didactic areas focusing on the marine environment.
Simon Vaughan Johnson, HSBC Malta CEO said: “The restoration of this magnificent tower has been one of HSBC Malta Foundation’s most significant local cultural heritage projects. The public can soon fully enjoy this historical site which, thanks to the excellent work by Din l-Art Ħelwa, will become a centre not only for historical education but also for raising awareness of our rich environmental heritage.”
The renovation project also includes the addition of new dormitories as well as a visitor centre and teaching facilities. These are intended to help visitors embrace the historical, cultural and environmental heritage of the site and its surroundings.
Prof Alex Torpiano, President of Din l-Art Ħelwa said: “Visitors to the site can now discover both the history of the tower and explore the natural features of its surrounding area with didactic facilities focusing particularly on the marine environment. Thanks to the support of the HSBC Malta Foundation, which shares Din l-Art Ħelwa’s vision to protect Malta’s cultural heritage, we have had the resources necessary to restore Torri l-Abjad to its former glory.”
HSBC Malta Foundation volunteers also participated in planting a total of 35 African Tamarisk trees in Daħlet ix-Xmajjar which is in the immediate vicinity of the tower. These trees compensate for another 35 that had been uprooted during the clearing of the tower site as per ERA’s policy under the expert guidance of the Foresta 2000 rangers from the Għadira Nature Reserve.