The elder daughter of former Labour premier Dom Mintoff has expressed surprise at the government’s decision to scrap the statue of her father that was to be placed in the revamped Castille Square, Valletta.

Yana Mintoff confirmed her family had approved the winning design of the monument dedicated to her father. She had also agreed with officials from the Office of the Prime Minister on where the statue would be placed.

Dr Mintoff said that 18 months ago, following a request by the OPM, she had visited sculptor Alfred Camilleri Cauchi’s studio in Fgura to approve the statue’s final design on behalf of her family.

“We had requested some small modifications so the statue would bear a greater resemblance to my father and the sculptor adhered to our wishes. The design was very good and I gave the go-ahead so that it could be cast and put in place," she said.

Asked whether she preferred a memorial – which the government is now proposing – instead of the monument, Dr Mintoff was frank. “A monument to my father is his statue. That is what we were promised and what we agreed on.”

The Sunday Times of Malta revealed that the government had abandoned its plans to erect the statue of Mr Mintoff designed by Mr Camilleri Cauchi.

Following the newspaper’s revelations, Mario Cutajar, Principal Permanent Secretary, told other media that the government had now commissioned artists to design a memorial to Mr Mintoff, which will be placed in the square next year. 

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