A "votive column", a 165-centimetre high ceramic sculpture by ceramicist Neville Ferry, was unveiled at the Chinese Garden of Serenity at Sta Lucia by Urban Development Minister Jesmond Mugliett and mayor Frederick Cutajar.

An exhibition of ceramic garden sculptures by Mr Ferry was also inaugurated in the garden's courtyard pavilion.

The museum's curator, E.V. Borg, said the column, which is on a 131-centimetre plinth, will stimulate work on a planned sculpture garden for the locality occupying a site next to the picnic area.

The council has entrusted Malcolm Borg of Heritage Enterprise, who is specialised in urban design, with compiling a brief for a proposal for "A Sculpture Garden for Santa Lucija" based on the idea and design of Mr Borg.

Mr Borg said the vision considers the recreation and cultural education of families and visitors using these gardens for relaxation and meditation especially in the picnic area and sculpture garden sites that will in the near future be covered with turf all the year round.

The council has already installed underground drains and a system of sprinklers and soon a pump room will be constructed to service these sprinklers. The sculpture is in the form of a cylindrical totem pole covered with graffiti that include fish and birds. The goddess of fertility takes centre stage.

The cylinder, capped by a bulbous sphere, explicitly underlines the phallic symbol, a reference to fertility cults and Priapus, the virile prowess of the male and the fecund maternal womb, a precious tabernacle for the seed of life, Mr Borg said.

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