An artist has taken a debate on British-era monuments back to its source - by asking Queen Elizabeth II for her opinion on the matter. 

Keit Bonnici has written a postcard to the Queen asking what she thinks about whether the statue of Queen Victoria in Valletta should stay where it is or be relocated. 

The front of the postcard made my Keit BonniciThe front of the postcard made my Keit Bonnici

"Dear Elizabeth," the postcard begins. 

"In Malta we're having a national debate on whether we should remove the statue of your ancestor Queen Victoria, the great-great-grandmother of Europe who sits in the heart of Valletta. 

"What are your personal thoughts on a nation debating the removal of a sculpture of your predecessor?" 

Discussion on whether the monument should be relocated was sparked after Black Lives Matter protestors around the world began pulling down statues of figures which have included Confederate generals and slavers. 

Historians Simon Cusens and Charles Xuereb debated whether relocating the statue would be shedding the burden of colonialism or trying to recontextualize history on an episode of the #TimesTalk podcast. 

A statue depicting Queen Victoria, dressed in Maltese lace, in front of the national library in Valletta. Photo: Matthew MirabelliA statue depicting Queen Victoria, dressed in Maltese lace, in front of the national library in Valletta. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

“I was a part of an exhibition by Momentum in an old lottery booth in Senglea where we were exhibiting post cards. And post cards are meant to be sent, so I thought I would send one to Queen Elizabeth to find out what she thinks about the debate surrounding her great-great grandmother, after all she is the closest living relative,” Bonnici said. 

“I have included my return address. I’m expecting a reply.”

This is not the first conversation-starting art piece Keit Bonnici has produced. 

In January Bonnici created a custom designed chair titled 'Perch', which allowed him to enjoy a home brewed coffee on the ledge of the controversial outdoor dining space at is-Suq tal-Belt. 

Keit Bonnici's art piece 'Perch'. Photo: Yellow World MediaKeit Bonnici's art piece 'Perch'. Photo: Yellow World Media

The statue of Queen Victoria outside the national library in Valletta was erected in 1891 and commemorated Queen Victoria's 50th Jubilee. She is depicted wearing Maltese lace after reportedly ordering "eight dozen pairs long and eight dozen pairs short mitts, besides a scarf”, according to Din L'Art Ħelwa. 

The heritage group restored the statue after it was damaged by the environment and by the droppings of pigeons, who congregate on it. 

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