Triton Fountain won't be moved – Austin Gatt

Infrastructure and Transport minister Austin Gatt says battered Triton Fountain is not to be moved and will remain a centrepiece for the new Valletta Square as designed by Renzo Piano.

Left: Triton Fountain as it is now. Right: Triton Fountain in 1970s as it is hoped to be restored to.
Left: Triton Fountain as it is now. Right: Triton Fountain in 1970s as it is hoped to be restored to.

Infrastructure, Transport and Communications minister Austin Gatt today announced changes to architect Renzo Piano’s designs, at no extra expense, for the Valletta square.

“Previous plans for the new square involved the relocation of the Triton Fountain but it has now been decided that the fountain will remain where it is. €2 million will be invested to restore the fountain to the way it was back in the 1950s,” Gatt said.

Gatt said that although the fountain will not be moved, he does not exclude the possibility of it being moved by a future government after it has been restored and all plans for the square have been completed by 2013.

Art restorer and expert in Triton sculptor Censu Apap’s work, Kenneth Cauchi said the Triton fountain will be restored to its ‘former glory’ as first sculpted by Apap and completed in 1959.

“Inspired by Roman design, the monument was one of Apap’s greatest works as well as the greatest monument in Malta. The fountain has undergone several changes since it was completed in 1959 and many of the adjustments to ‘fix’ damages have destroyed unique elements of the structure,” Cauchi said.

The restorer also said that the fountain had never been inaugurated by any government because Dom Mintoff had resigned and an Executive Council under British rule was in place at the time of its implementation.

“The fountain is currently an orphan and does not belong to any party. Once completed, the fountain will finally be officially inaugurated by the government,” Cauchi said. 

Cauchi explained that there is a complex network of tunnels and pipes underneath the fountain to allow maintenance without actually getting into the fountain itself on the outside.

The restoration work will include sending the fountain as whole to specialists abroad who will take it apart and reassemble the sculpture in the exact position it was in Valletta.

Cauchi explained that the central structure in the centre of the three titans will once again be removed and the water piping once again restored inside the statues themselves.

Gatt said that other changes to take place include the relocation of kiosks currently surrounding the bus terminus and fountain area but this still needs to be discussed with the kiosk owners.

Plans also include the restoration of the 18 wooden balconies on the façade opposite the new parliament and theatre building as well as standardising shop awnings.

“We are currently trying to find a contractor to restore the wooden balconies of the City Gate residential block which is not an easy task as experts are few. Standardising shop awnings will make it more organised and allow visitors to revisit Valletta as it was. We would be going back to the old,” Gatt said.

The new Valletta Square to replace the current bus terminus will amount to a total of €5 million, excluding the €2 million invested in the restoration of the fountain, and the target date for completion is expected to be 2013.

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Another, in the series, of government's U turns. At least this time for the better.
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festu the biggest eyesore is those buffoons running the pn.
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Why keep that eyesore called the Triton Fountain? It should be eradicated from the face of the Earth!
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Robert Attard
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN79GXz3mIk&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrZmSWxWjAE&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMWN8GVZOXM&feature=related
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Robert Attard
It is good to learn that the Triton Fountain is rightfully being given significant approriate consideration by the 'Authorities'. Regrettably this contrast sharply with the total neglect towards the historic and beatiful 400 year old Wignacourt Fountains in Floriana.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN79GXz3mIk&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrZmSWxWjAE&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMWN8GVZOXM&feature=related . Meditate......!!!!
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Anki Au(stin-atu) Gatt beda jhallina, mhux gonzipn biss !!!! L-ewwel gab lil kullhadd kontrih bil-qassata tal-Arriva u kien biss gonzipn li gabarlu ftit giehu !!! Imbaghad salva biss bis-sahha tal-iSpeaker fil-Parlament minn vot ta' sfiducja- issa qed tohrog bil-mod il-mod il-qassata l-ohra ta' Smart City - basta dak il-ftahir kollu ta' ma nafx kemm-il elf impieg fl-IT - probabbli ried jghid eluf ta' impiegi f'xi internet cafe !!! u issa qed jghid bil-wicc tost li dan progett tal-IT u allura jaqa' fuq hogor gonzi !!! -- issa rega' bdielu fuq il-funtana !!! Dan jaf x'qed jaghmel jew le? Tahwida wahda wara l-ohra .... Imhatra li ftit qabel l-elezzjoni jghidilna li se jghatti s-saqaf tat-teatru rjal !!!! jew li jaqbel mad-divorzju - xejn xejn irid jipprova jigbor giehu, mhux hekk?
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Is Renzo Piano, or whoever is going to draw the new plans for the Valletta Square going to be paid again for these plans? So the refurbishment of this fountain is probably going to cost more than four times the original cost of the fountain.

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