Images of a newly built apartment block towering over the old Manikata chapel has sparked outrage online after a photo was uploaded on Newsbook.
The government in 2019 announced a restoration project for the chapel, one year after the Planning Authority greenlit plans to build 18 residential units, 20 garages and one office right near it.
Both the curia and cultural heritage watchdog had objected to the "massive" development going ahead.
The Superintendence for Cultural Heritage had sounded the alarm on how the extensive development would have a negative impact on views of the chapel and “may cause material damage”.
An architect representing the curia had also flagged how the new building will create a third-party wall along the whole length of the chapel, which will engulf it, apart from being “blank and dull”.
Those fears have since come true, with one online commentator noting dryly that they might as well have just demolished the chapel.
"I am sure the PA (Planning Authority) will comply", the commentator said.
Environmental activist Arnold Cassola quipped that the old chapel is now obstructing the view of the "iconic konkos building".
The small chapel was built in 1920, when there were only around 12 families living in Manikata.
It was closed in 1975, with a larger chapel built by architect Richard England being used to accommodate the growing population.