Watch: George Cross deed allowing medal onto national flag restored
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Watch: George Cross deed allowing medal onto national flag restored

Restored documents to be displayed in public

Documents connected to the use of the George Cross on the Maltese flag, emblems and on official documents have been restored and will be put on public display.

The documents include the George Cross deed, drawn by the then chief notary to the government, Carmelo Farrugia, which details how the cross should be used.

The deed was between Governor Sir Frances Campbell Ross Douglas and Chief Justice Sir George Borg, “wherein King George VI, being desirous that for the greater honour and distinction of the island of Malta, grants that a representation of the George Cross proper is placed on a canton azure to be borne for the Island of Malta and its dependencies upon seals, shields, banners or otherwise according to the law of arms”. 

Culture Minister Owen Bonnici reading the restored volumeCulture Minister Owen Bonnici reading the restored volume

Malta was awarded the George Cross on April 15, 1942 in recongition of its valour and perseverance during World War II.

However, the deed allowing it to be used on the Maltese flag and elsewhere was only published in the Hall of St Michael and St George at the Governor’s Palace, Valletta, in the presence of Archbishop Michael Gonzi in 1947.

The volume with the documents contains other notarial deeds dealing with other issues, such as the sale of land, reconstruction of damaged accommodation and the supply of provisions and fuel.

The conservation project was the result of collaboration between heritage NGO Din l-Art Ħelwa, members raised about €2,000 for the preservation of the volume, and the Notarial Archives Foundation. 

The grant of the George Cross to MaltaThe grant of the George Cross to Malta

The restortation was done by paper conservator Alejandra Molano Contreras, who conducted various interventions, including surface cleaning, removal of old repairs, spine repair and cover repair, under the supervision of conservation head Theresa Zammit Lupi.

Din l-Art Ħelwa recalled that the Maltese people’s everyday life had been completely disrupted, suffering food shortages and incessant bombings by the Axis forces.

“The volume preserves the record of this significant part of Maltese history and that of its people,” it said.

The conservation job, which took a month, also included the preservation of notarial documents detailing the rebuilding of Malta after the war.

 

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