I refer to the Opinion by Kenneth Zammit Tabona (April 20) regarding the erection of the monument of Enea by Ugo Attardi at the Lower Barrakka Gardens, in Valletta.
May I point out that the first location chosen by the council for the erection of the monument was beneath the Siege Bell memorial at the bottom of the gardens.
The superintendent of fortifications raised some concerns as the chosen site appears to have had structural problems which could have placed people at risk. Acting on this concern, the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (Mepa) asked the council to suggest another site.
It was in this context that the Lower Barrakka Gardens were chosen by the council. After having toured all the city, the artist himself approved the site when he was flown to Malta prior to making any changes to the site with Mepa.
There was no imposition by Mepa as Mr Zammit Tabona seems to indicate. On the contrary, the site was that chosen by the master in person.
I would like to point out that, in respect of this project, Mepa was extremely cooperative and efficient in processing our application without delay.
The council would like to stress also the importance of the Lower Barrakka Gardens as one of the gardens built by the Knights of St John.
Furthermore, we would like to stress the point that the monument was carefully placed in the site. It may be true that Enea seems to look sideways to the Ball monument, yet the hands of the statue stretch out pointing to the east and west, representing a unifying characteristic, and a significant feature of such a mythological character who is a symbol of Greek and Latin culture.
As mayor of Valletta, I am more than happy to have such a monument in the prestigious Lower Barrakka Gardens at the heart of the Valletta people, in a site chosen and approved by the sculptor himself and ready to be appreciated by the people visiting the garden, passengers sailing into Grand Harbour on cruise ships and the public from the Cottonera side, as it can be clearly seen.
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