Graffiti has been splashed on two walls of the 1630s Għajn Tuffieħa watchtower, which has been undergoing renovation work for the past 12 years.

The structure, also known as the Għajn Mixkuka tower, is one of five built during the reign of Grand Master Juan de Lascaris-Castellar as part of a coastal watch system.

Originally armed with a half-pounder gun and garrisoned by four men, the tower started falling to pieces until it was restored in 2000 with the support of the director of public projects and Din l-Art Ħelwa.

Over the past four years, the Gaia Foundation, which now manages the tower, has installed doors and windows, put in a skylight, set up an indoor staircase, and mounted information panels.

But when volunteers went to open the tower for a couple of hours on Wednesday, as Gaia has started to do this summer, they found graffiti sprayed along the lower part of two of its walls and on the site’s information board.

The foundation immediately contacted the restoration unit at the University of Malta to assess the extent of the damage.

Although restoration costs are still being calculated, Gaia is appealing for donations to cover the restoration works.

The foundation can be reached on or 2158 4474.

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