The Labour Party today raised questions on the removal of the Tritons Fountain from City Gate.

The party spokesman on Mepa, Roderick Galdes, said Mepa had been in the process of scheduling the fountain as a grade 1 protected structure.

He said the prime minister should explain who had intervened to stop this process, which would have prevented the fountain from being moved "to make way for parking".

Mepa, he said, had wanted to schedule the fountain because of its architectural value. 

He said that this case was another example of lack of planning and an absence of seriousness and transparency related to the City Gate project.

Infrastructure Minister Austin Gatt said last week that the fountain will be transferred to the garden opposite the front entrance of the Hotel Phoenicia (near the Air Forces Memorial). The area in front of the city entrance will be a large open space. There will be a car park in the area of the Salinos ground.

INFRASTRUCTURE MINISTRY REACTION

In a reaction, the Infrastructure Ministry said the Tritons Fountain will not be removed but it would be moved a few metres.

The fountain will also be restored.

The ministry said Mr Galdes was completely wrong when he said that the fountain would be moved to make way for a car park. The car park would be elsewhere. His statement, however, confirmed the PL opposition to projects such as those for Valletta.

The ministry said the PL should be ashamed of even speaking about this fountain in view of the fact that it was damaged during a semi-political event under the Labour government when it was used as a stage.