Raymond Bencini (October 10) is rightly surprised that the old Opera House is still in ruins after nearly 70 years since it was destroyed by enemy bombers.

Personally I prefer that it remains a bomb site because I do not trust the present and recent crop of architects/experts. They have wrecked havoc on our small Baroque city. How could we have destroyed the former City Gate and instead build a monstrosity similar to Fascist grandiose schemes. And what about that horrendous structure known as the Triton Fountain? How could the planning authority approve the Courts of Justice building with those Brobdingnagian columns?

But the worst desecration was to raze to the ground that jewel of the Carmelite Church built, I believe, by Gerolamo Cassar's son. This church was not destroyed by Nazi Stuka bombers. Oh no! It was we Maltese who performed this sacrilege. Now we have a huge church dominated by an immense dome which utterly dwarfs the rest of the more than a dozen churches strewn along the streets of Valletta. The skyline is completely destroyed especially as seen across Marsamscetto Harbour from the Sliema side. Now they are proposing to burrow and construct a bunker under St John's Co-Cathedral!

By no stretch of the imagination am I suggesting that our architects are not up to scratch. They have planned and executed the Portomaso complex, which drew praise from foreign experts, Tigné, various hotels, etc. It seems, perhaps, that when they have to work in a restricted cultural environment they tend to go off at a tangent.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us