Valletta Tritons head off to Italy for restoration works

The Triton statues will be extensively restored in Florence foundry as part of Valletta entrance revamp 

The Triton statues have been shipped off to Florence for restoration works
The Triton statues have been shipped off to Florence for restoration works

The three Tritons of the emblematic fountain at the entrance to Valletta have been shipped off to Italy for extensive restoration works.

The tritons and the plate they jointly hold, which weigh a combined 14 tonnes, were dislodged from the fountain on Thursday and shipped off on the Eurocargo Venezia, which will take them to the port of Livorno.

From there, the Tritons will be transported on land to the Ferdinando Marinelli foundry in Florence for restoration works that are expected to start on Wednesday.

The statues will first be cleaned off the concrete that had anchored them to the fountain for the past 58 years, after which the foundry workers will fix the cracks in the bronze, clean the statues from the inside and outside, and stick them back together.

Foundry workers will also build a steel structure inside each of the Tritons so that they will be able to properly support the weight of the bronze plate, and pre-empt damage in their shoulder. The statues will then receive lick of microcrystalline wax so as to seal the brass pores, before being shipped off back to Malta.   

The Triton Fountain was sculpted by Vincent Apap in 1958 and has stood outside City Gate ever since. The restoration works are part of a major project that will see the square at the entrance to Valletta converted into a pedestrian area. The transport and infrastructure ministry hopes to have the project completed before the start of 2018, when Valletta will be named European Capital of Culture.

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