The Nationalist Party has demanded an investigation after reports that a historic stone "milestone" is being used to decorate the garden at the private residence of Agriculture Minister Anton Refalo.

British-era milestones used to dot Malta and Gozo and are now protected in terms of the law.

Sections of the media uploaded a picture, taken from a Facebook post by the minister's son, showing a milestone with the inscription VR (Victoria Regina) in the minister's garden in Qala. 

The shadow minister for culture, Karl Gouder said the milestone was part of Malta's heritage and the minister's possession of it amounted to an abuse of power. National heritage should be enjoyed by all and not by a single person. 

He said the revelation was more troubling in view of the fact that Anton Refalo previously served as the minister responsible for Heritage Malta. He had a duty to safeguard Malta's heritage 'not take parts of it for himself.'

Gouder called on the police to investigate and for the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage to recover the milestone.

The prime minister was also urged to take action over the matter. 

A heritage expert later pointed out that the artefact is an equally protected boundary marker but not a milestone. 

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