HoASA, or History of Art and Fine Arts Students’ Association, is a relatively small student organisation within the University of Malta. For our size, we are proud to say that we reach quite a large audience, and maintain our aim of representing the students of History of Art as well as those of Fine Arts, whilst making people more aware of the importance and beauty of Art History.
This year, HoASA chose to embark on a mission: to help raise awareness towards neglected art historical sites. We started with our official photoshoot that took place at the old parish church of St Nicholas of Bari in Siggiewi, which is unfortunately now in ruins and currently serving as an archaeological site. This site was excavated and restored between the years 2007 and 2008. This church, which without a doubt had great architectural value, had been altered several times throughout its history. Fortunately, when archaeological works were being carried out on the site, the National Museum of Archaeology created a photographic record of the ruins.
The studies carried out on the site show that the original structure had elements of the Siculo-Byzantinesque style. A limestone baptismal font executed in the Renaissance tradition was discovered during excavations, together with other artefacts that are still present in the sacristy today.
Although we are grateful that such a wonderful site and artefacts survive, we would like to express our concern about their current state and the lack of awareness there is for such sites of art historical importance.
We would like to thank the Siggiewi parish, in particular Dun Nikol and Fr Chris, as well as the Department of History of Art, in particular Dr Charlene Vella, for their help and guidance. We would also like to express our gratitude to our photographer, Greta Ellul, for the wonderful pictures she shot during our photoshoot.