What would Liz say? Artist sends Buckingham Palace postcard on Queen Vic statue

Artist Keit Bonnici’s handmade postcard to Queen Elizabeth asks for her thoughts about whether the statute of Queen Victoria should be removed from Valletta

The artist whose perched chair at the Valletta marker on Merchants’ Street served as a protest against the occupation of public land, is sending his best wishes to the Queen of England.

In his latest work, Keit Bonnici creates a dialogue with Queen Elizabeth II by sending her a personal, handmade postcard, to ask her about her opinion on the prospect of removing the statute of Queen Victoria – her great-great grandmother – from Valletta’s Pjazza Regina. 

“Although Queen Victoria was known as the grandmother of Europe, many people in Malta view her statue as a sign of oppression. And in the wake of statues being removed in the USA, the debate whether to remove her statue from Valletta has appeared,” Bonnici said.

His response is to send a postcard to Victoria’s great-great granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth, to find out what her thoughts are. Bonnici hand-made the postcard and wrote the message in Maltese.

“I was a part of an exhibition by Momentum in an old lottery booth in Senglea where we were exhibiting postcards. And postcards are meant to be sent, so I thought I would send one to Queen Elizabeth to find out what she thinks about the debate surrounding her great-great grandmother, after all she is the closest living relative.”

One of Bonnici’s projects went viral in 2020 when he erected a wooden chair with unusually long back legs to be able to actually see what’s happening inside the redesigned Suq tal-Belt’s newly elevated terrace. Bonnici’s installation, Perch, was a protest at the gentrification of the Valletta market. “I explained that I wanted to look and grieve at what was stolen from us. They sipped on their beer.”

Suq tal-Belt was officially unveiled in January 2018, the year Valletta was crowned the European Capital of Culture. Originally dubbed as some “foodie’s paradise”, the actual food court that followed was met with mixed reactions.