[WATCH] Great Siege restoration ‘essential’ minister says on Caruana Galizia memorial

Restoration work of Great Siege means monument turned into Daphne Caruana Galizia memorial has been sealed off

A banner put up by Rezistenza Malta on the boarded up monument
A banner put up by Rezistenza Malta on the boarded up monument
Owen Bonnici: Great Siege monument restoration

The minister for justice and culture Owen Bonnici has defended the restoration of the Great Siege monument, which since the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia on 16 October 2017 has doubled up as a memorial to the slain journalist.

The monument, dedicated to the 8 September victory in the Great Siege of Malta against an Ottoman fleet, was boarded up last week after the annual remembrance day.

“Anyone who attended the 8 September ceremonies could see the damage caused to this monument. This is an essential monument for our country. I have a responsibility towards its upkeep and need to make sure that damage to it is prevented, and if there is damage, then I have the responsibility to restore it,” Bonnici said.

“I believe I acted cautiously and righteously. In the coming weeks, work on the monument will start so that it is restored as is fit.”

Heritage Malta will be overseeing the restoration of the monument.

“Many questioned the authorities for allowing damaged to be caused to the monument,” Bonnici said of the Sciortino sculpture, which usually has flowers and candles placed upon it to honour the memory of Caruana Galizia.

Bonnici said such mourners should express themselves “within the rule of law”.

“If we believe in this concept, then we must abide by it, without causing damage to the monument,” he said.

Bonnici had mooted the possibility of a permanent memorial for Caruana Galizia in a parliamentary speech, saying the process for applying for the memorial had to take place accordingly. “This is a democratic country. It’s important that we abide by the rules and act accordingly.”

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