The Gozo Ministry is seeking further advice from a local geologist about Dwejra’s Azure Window, said a spokesman who was initially far more pessimistic about its future.

A large chunk of the spectacular rock disappeared into the sea last week, widening the window and putting more pressure on its roof which is eventually expected to cave in.

The ministry initially quoted only the negative parts of a 2006 UK expert report that said its eventual collapse was inevitable and any works to slow down the process from beneath the arch were too dangerous. However, on its website, Bureau Veritas Consulting says it proposed “carrying out most work from the top of the arch”.

The ministry spokesman clarified that works from the top of the arch would only have prevented erosion by rain, not waves.

He said: “The suggested interventions were intended to prevent parts of the window from collapsing. It is appreciated that being in such an exposed and eroded area, such interventions would have little or no effect.

“The intervention that was not too dangerous or hazardous was the filling of cracks on the top to prevent rain water infiltration. At the same time, the report admits that the major damage is caused by sea wave action,” she added, reiterating that the report said works from the bottom of the arch were too dangerous.

Asked whether the Gozo Ministry had resigned itself to the eventual collapse of the touristic landmark, the spokesman reiterated that erosion was a natural process which could not be stopped.

“It is not just a question of resignation before an inevitable situation. The Ministry for Gozo is seeking further expert advice in this regard,” she said, adding this advice was being sought from an unnamed local geologist.

The consultation of Bureau Veritas cost about €3,300, the ministry said.

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