Photo on left by MaltaToday, photo on right by Valletta 2018 Foundation
The polystyrene statues symbolising Maltese proverbs which were erected in Valletta last weekend have been removed this morning.
This is because the statues already need to be restored after they were damaged over the past few days in what the Valletta 2018 Foundation has said was an act of vandalism. A Valletta 2018 spokesperson confirmed with Lovin Malta the statues will return to their original spots after restoration is complete.
The ‘Kif Jghid il-Malti’ project is the work of Maltese artists Joel Saliba and Margaret Pace from Ikona Artworks, assisted by Sara-Lee Zammit, Chris Galea and Perry Scenic Ltd. Saliba said the statues are intended to be thought provoking and to encourage people to reflect on the Maltese language.
As is typical with the installation of public artworks in Malta, the project proved to be controversial, in particular the statue of a naked man sticking his head in an onion (Min jidħol bejn il-basla u qoxritha jibqa’ b’riħitha).
However, they soon suffered damage, with the jury still out whether this was the result of vandalism or natural causes.
Valletta 2018 chairperson Jason Micallef made his stance very clear.
“I have no words in my book strong enough to express my condemnation of this bare-faced vandalism,” he said. “This is an act of gross ignorance and of sick minds who cannot stomach the progress that is currently going on in Valletta, progress that the whole country is benefitting from.”