As a Maltese bank with the local culture at heart, Banif Bank (Malta) plc is proud to be contributing to the restoration and conservation of one of Malta’s most important Early Renaissance paintings identified by The Research Programme for the Study of Medieval and Early Renaissance Art in the Department of History of Art (Faculty of Arts, University of Malta), directed by Professor Mario Buhagiar.
The oils on board painting of the Enthroned Virgin and Child on the altar of the Virgin of the Rosary in the St Catherine Parish Church of Żejtun, is one of the finest Early Renaissance paintings in Maltese Collections. It carries the signature of Pedro -Nuñez de Villavicencio (1640-c. 1695) and the date 1672 on the Virgin’s throne, and has for long been thought to be a copy of a much venerated, prestigious, lost, Renaissance painting. One other copy is executed in oils on canvas and is situated at Verdala Palace, Buskett.
Commenting about Banif’s involvement in this project, Mr. Joaquim F. Silva Pinto, CEO of the Bank said, “Banif Bank has always reiterated its commitment towards the local community. Ever since the Bank opened its doors to the public, we have made significant contributions in line with our corporate social responsibility strategy. Being a bank that strives to provide a differentiated banking service, we always seek to venture into initiatives that are relevant to our society. That is why we have gladly accepted to support the restoration of this historic piece art when approached by Profs Buhagiar and his team.”
“As a Maltese Bank offering a full range of banking services specifically designed for the local market, we are very proud of the fact that all our business is done in Malta. Our success is attributed to the trust and confidence shown in us by the Maltese community. Acknowledging this, we believe that have a responsibility towards our society. Hence we pledge to continue contributing towards the improvement of the social well being in proportion to our business growth”, concluded Mr. Silva Pinto.
The conservation and restoration of the panel will be done by ReCoop Conservation Lab. This will give back to the painting its original qualities and make it possible to attribute it in a meaningful context.
Present at the press conference were also Hon. Mario de Marco, Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, the Environment and Culture, Professor Alfred Vella, Pro-Rector of the University of Malta, Professor Mario Buhagiar, Head of Department of History of Art and Ms. Charlene Vella, Assistant Lecturer from the Department of History of Art.