Valletta’s Great Siege monument has been boarded up and blocked off following an official ceremony held beneath it this morning. This move was met with outrage by Caruana Galizia activists who have been using the site as a makeshift memorial to the assassinated journalist.
But Justice Minister Owen Bonnici has denied claims of foul play, stating the structure was covered for restorative works due to damage found on the monument’s pedestal.
“The photos speak for themselves,” he said in a post on Facebook.
This morning the candles and flowers of the makeshift memorial were cleared away, for the second time in around 24 hours, to make way for the wreaths and red carpet placed in front of the law courts to mark Victory Day.
Shortly after the ceremony ended, workers began setting up scaffolding, wooden boards and thick green material all around the Great Siege monument. Simon Busuttil, PN’s former leader, and Matthew Caruana Galizia, Daphne’s son, were among the many voices who spoke out against the officials who covered the monument.
“The spontaneous memorial to Daphne Caruana Galizia barricade by [the Maltese Government],” tweeted Matthew. “Now ask me again who murdered her.”
Hours after the online outrage began to circulate, Minister Owen Bonnici took to Facebook to say that the structure had been blocked off to allow for restorative work to be done on the base of the memorial. Sharing photos of the damage, he said restoration would begin “immediately” and that the photos he shared “speak for themselves”.