A set of sculptures set up at City Gate and outside parliament to represent various Maltese sayings was vandalised overnight, despite being located in what should be the best policed area in Malta.

Jason Micallef, chairman of the V18 Foundation, uploaded pictures of the damage on Sunday morning and expressed his disgust and condemnation.

READ: Valletta statue depicting proverb gets tongues wagging online

He said that angry words were not enough to condemn what had taken place.

The display, entitled Hekk Jghid il-Malti, was set up just two days ago.

Such vandalism, Mr Micallef said, showed gross ignorance by sick minds who could not stand the progress currently being made in Valletta, from which the whole country would benefit.  

Design creator Joel Saliba said that he hoped the installations would be "thought-provoking" and prompt people to reflect on Malta's national language.

Installations vary from one of a prickly pear-headed figure looking at their watch ('Iż-żmien isajru l-bajtar') - to one of a minnow trying to swallow a far bigger fish ('Il-ħuta ż-żgħira qatt ma kielet lill-kbira') and another of an eyeball resting in a spoon ('L-ewwel ma tiekol l-għajn').

But it is a depiction of a figure bent over with their head caught in an onion ('Min jidħol bejn il-basla u qoxritha jibqa' b'riħitha') that got most tongues wagging on social media, due to the awkward positioning of its key figure.

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