Malta risks losing historical and artistic patrimony, warns Chamber of Architects

Chamber of Architects questioned whether the Government shared its commitment to safeguarding culture and heritage as it marked the International Day for Monuments and Sites

Malta’s Chamber of Architects, the Kamra tal-Periti, has warned that Malta risks losing its historical and artistic patrimony to large-scale construction projects as it marked the International Day for Monuments and Sites on April 18.

In a statement marking the occasion, the Kamra pointed out that last September, hundreds of people crowded the streets of Valletta to protest against the building frenzy enveloping the islands, shouting “enough is enough.”

“Enough to planning policies that do not respect citizens. Enough to authorities that do not plan properly and do not respect the environment. Enough to large-scale construction projects, road construction works and lack of transportation planning. Enough to low air quality and lack of preservation of biodiversity. Enough to a construction industry which is allowed to operate in an unregulated manner,” reads the statement.

It said that these calls are “not dissimilar” to those made by 22 organisations two years ago. The 22 organisations active in the field of cultural heritage had come together to express a shared concern about “the manner in which the indiscriminate demolition of our built and other cultural assets was resulting in a general impoverishment of our urban areas.”

The entities had signed a joint declaration titled “Our Legacy – Wirtna”, which argued that the way we treat our heritage is the legacy we leave for future generations.

The Kamra questioned whether the Government shared its commitment to safeguarding our culture and our heritage.

“The concern is, in fact, a shared concern – that our culture and our heritage are being disregarded, and that economic interests are far too often given the upper hand.”