This photo of First Lady Maryna Poroshenko is making the rounds on Facebook, causing controversy and outrage with many Maltese people who have noticed something worrying about the shot.
During a visit to St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Poroshenko can be seen wearing stilettos, something which is strictly forbidden and explicitly stated on signs all around the Cathedral’s entrance.
The entire marble flooring of the Cathedral is one whole series of tombs, housing around 400 Knights and officers of the Order of St. John, all noblemen from the most important families of Europe.
Each and every tombstone is inlaid by coloured, marble slabs bearing the crest, coat of arms, and epitaph of the noblemen buried there.
The Facebook post bringing the worrying fact to light very quickly gained traction, with many people angrily sharing and commenting on the photo. The Cathedral does not have an extremely strict dress-code, but shawls are provided for women who show up with bare shoulders and narrow-heeled shoes like stilettos are not allowed, for fear of damaging the marble flooring over time. Special slippers are available for purchase at the front desk.
Countless bodies were roped in and blamed for the apparent blunder, from tourist guides, to organisers, to the Chief of Protocol. While the latter seemed to get the brunt of it all, one user pointed out that it’s not fair to throw so much irrational hate towards a foreign dignitary who most probably wasn’t even aware of this entire protocol.
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko is currently visiting Malta, and after a tête-à-tête with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and delegation-level talks, bilateral agreements were signed between the two countries in fields ranging from higher education to sports.
What seemed to irk people more was another photo later released by the Department Of Information showing the Ukranian President and his First Lady on a walking tour in Mdina, where they dropped in for a quick visit of the Cathedral there. Maryna Poroshenko was seen wearing flat shoes.
As some people pointed out, it is a possibility that the First Lady was given silicone caps to fit on her stiletto heal, but no confirmation on the matter has been issued yet.
Lovin Malta reached out to the Cathedral’s curator for a statement, but we haven’t gotten a reply yet.