Danger still lurks in the approach to Ghar Hasan, in Hal-Far, in the form of badly rusted railings and eroded stone work.

The danger has been brought to the attention of the authorities and the Birzebbuga local council has even made representations about it. Yet, only part of the railing along the rock path leading to the cave has been replaced.

The natural cave, which fascinates tourists and locals alike, lies close by the cliff side near Benghajsa.

The section of the railing by the side of a stairway has not been replaced. The stone work by the side of the steps overlooking the sea is not only eroded badly but has a gaping hole posing a danger to young children.

When contacted, Birzebbuga mayor Joe Farrugia said the area's upkeep fell under the central government.

"The main part of the railing - which was in a pitiable state - was replaced about a year ago. The local council has since then been chasing the Environment Department to remove the danger to visitors.

"The place attracts many tourists all year round and it is a shame that the Tourism Ministry has not seen it fit to do something about it," Mr Farrugia said.

Two legends surround the cave perched 61 metres above the shore, the Malta Tourism Authority's website says. One has it that it was used by a Moor called Hassan to avoid expulsion in 1120 and the other claims that it used to be occupied by a Saracen, who was driven from his home in North Africa, in the 12th century, and who lived there with his harem.

The railing along the rock path that was installed about a year ago and the old railing still in place and the stone base that needs to be replaced badly.

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