44 Days Later, The Great Siege Monument Is Still 'Under Renovation'
Tributes to Caruana Galizia were cleared away just a day before the anniversary of her death
On Sunday, members of various journalistic committees and associations laid tributes to the assassinated journalist at the make-shift memorial site in front of the courts in Valletta. The representatives of these groups are in Malta to commemorate the year anniversary of her death.
In an unsurprising turn of events, the tributes were cleared away in the early hours of the morning today.
The home place of the memorial has been a point of contention amongst the Maltese population; creating a divide between those who believe they have the right to use the site for a makeshift memorial, and those who believe that what they are doing should be considered vandalism.
However, regardless of your take on the public's right to protest in a public location, there is a slightly more problematic question to ask: why on earth is the Great Siege Memorial still boarded off?
Over a month ago, after a tiring game of back and forth between protesters and the Cleansing Department, the memorial was once more cleared away and the monument boarded off, disallowing the public to access it and therefore use it as a memorial site. This was on the 8th of September. 44 days ago.
So, just how much of the monument is being restored? In a Facebook status, Minister for Culture and Justice Owen Bonnici posted a few photos that showed the damage caused by candles that had been knocked over, spilling wax down the side. It seems, however, that the Directorate of Restoration and Heritage is building a new monument, not cleaning away some wax stains.
When Lovin Malta pointed out to Dr Bonnici that a conservation expert claimed the process should not take more than a few hours, his response was that the process would not be "just a simple scrubbing" and that it would be one that "certainly [took] longer than a few hours”.
Tomorrow is the one year anniversary following the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, and the government of Malta is still doing all they can to remove all signs of public's support for her.
Lovin Malta did reach out to Dr. Bonnici for a comment on the matter, hoping to gather some more information on what the plans are for the restoration, however we did not get an answer.