The victims of COVID-19 have been remembered in a stunning Holy Week installation in Għajnsielem.

Entitled 'The Cross, Jesus and You', the project is made up of 800 crosses constructed from recycled wood and displayed on Gozo church's parapet stairs.

After sunset, they are lit in violet to represent Lent while the 394 victims of the virus are symbolised by crosses painted white.

For the second year in a row, Easter will be celebrated in Malta under a semi-shutdown to contain the spread of the virus.

The installation dedicated to the victims of COVID-19. Photo: Daniel CiliaThe installation dedicated to the victims of COVID-19. Photo: Daniel Cilia

The project is the brainchild of Franco Ciangura, deputy mayor of Għajnsielem, with the assistance of Joseph Ciantar.

"We are all somehow touched by this pandemic, where many families are going through a difficult time and have even lost a loved one," Ciangura said.

"We are all carrying a cross that is not always easy to accept and live with," he said, dedicating the installation to the victims of the virus and anyone struggling at this time of year. 

Photographer Daniel Cilia shot the installation at dawn on Thursday morning, rising early to capture the shades of violet against a deep blue sky.

It was a poignant experience for him, as his 92-year-old mother, Frances Cilia, was among the victims.

The cross representing photographer Daniel Cilia's mother, who was among those who died with the virus. Photo: Daniel CiliaThe cross representing photographer Daniel Cilia's mother, who was among those who died with the virus. Photo: Daniel Cilia

He said he found it a moving, yet comforting experience.

"It's sad how the people who passed away have become numbers but this installation is celebrating them, and I like that my mother is remembered in white - the colour of those who go to heaven," he told Times of Malta.

A special ceremony took place at 7.30pm on Thursday evening, when candles were lit at each cross, representing every victim.

Candles lit on Maundy Thursday to remember the victims of COVID-19. Photo: Daniel CiliaCandles lit on Maundy Thursday to remember the victims of COVID-19. Photo: Daniel Cilia

The installation was created by volunteers from the Għaqda Drammatika Għajnsielem and the Għaqda Armar Għajnsielem with the financial support of the local council and collaboration of the parish.

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