Investing in our heritage
July 24, 2021|Raymond Andrew Ellul
3 min read
Brought to you by the Parliamentary Secretariat for Citizenship
It is perhaps part of human nature to lose sight of the rich architectural and historic value of the many landmark buildings across the Maltese islands afforded by our rich history. After all, we drive or walk past them so often, usually when we are in a hurry to get somewhere else. But occasionally it is worth pausing to admire this cultural heritage with the attention it deserves.
Modern illumination technology is contributing towards enhancing and emphasising the beauty of such landmarks.
Indeed, with this is mind, NDSF recently announced a €1 million investment in Mdina, where in conjunction with Infrasture Malta, the Silent City will be fitted with the latest economical and environmental friendly technology lighting to enliven it at night.
By day, Mdina’s elevated geographical position naturally allows for its visual enjoyment from numerous localities across the island. This new illumination project will help emphasise Mdina’s unique structural qualities by night, without imposing a greater impact on the environment, as well as decreasing the amount of light damage on the fortification itself. This will be achieved in the following manner.
Firstly, the technology used will be addressing three main lighting quality issues, that is glare, uniformity of illuminance and color rendition.
Our eyes are naturally attracted to bright light and the glare produced reduces visibility. With the proposed enhanced illumination technology, there will be a drastic reduction in glare, which is essentially effective for eco-friendly night-time lighting.
Light intensity varies depending on the source of light, whether having high or low light intensity fixtures. In high intensity discharge, the emission of light is intensely high, whilst using fluorescent lamps emit low intensity lighting. Adding to this, warm color light sources have lower color temperature.
Secondly, the Fund’s €1 million investment in warm fluorescent light sources with the usage of tunable white warm lighting and with a color temperature of not more than 2726.85°C, defines our main purpose. This is to create architectural and dynamic lighting related to time and nature with a diminished effect on our environment, using controlled beam light with a dynamic light control schedule, taking also into consideration the location placement of light sources. Lighting will be subtle and sensitive to the surroundings and will be used where needed and when it is needed.
The economic and environmentally friendly lighting system will bring about many sustainable advantages, including the visual appearance of Mdina, energy consumption, pollution and less maintenance. The first phase of the project is to install advanced external lighting on some of Mdina’s most noteworthy building structures such as the Mdina Gate, the Greek Gate, the Vilhena Palace, the Cathedral and the Carmelite Church. The project’s second phase will replace the lighting inside the city’s streets and the third phase will change the lighting around the fortification itself, as well as at Howard Gardens opposite Mdina Gate.
Besides increasing the aesthetic benefits of the old city, this will also increase the social and historical value of the city while fostering a sense of pride among all Maltese. It adds to other recent developments by Government that have delighted us all, such as the excellent improvements at Auberge de Castille, the Triton Fountains at City Gate and the Citadel in Victoria.
And, of course, all this enhances Malta’s tourist offering in these very challenging times. While it is another superb experience for visitors to enjoy. Mdina by day, the illumination project will definitely offer a unique experience of the ancient city at night.
This latest social investment by the National Social Development Fund, is part of a larger €3 million project to embellish Maltese buildings and landmarks of great architectural and cultural value.
Raymond Andrew Ellul is CEO National Development & Social Fund.
The National Development and Social Fund is a government agency established for the purpose of managing and administering seventy per cent of the contributions received from the Individual Investor Programme of the Republic of Malta set up by virtue of the Malta Citizenship Act Cap.188.
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.