Renzo Piano's architecture studio has given the Maltese government two days to fork out €300,000 it says it is still owed for works on the Valletta parliament and City Gate project.
In a judicial letter filed today, Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) said that the Grand Harbour Regeneration Project was refusing to pay the outstanding amount, in violation of an ancillary agreement signed in March 2015.
The contractual tussle is not a new one: in its letter, RPBW said that it had spent "several months" trying to understand what was holding up the payment and resolve the matter amicably, "but no valid reason was ever given."
The world-famous architecture firm was contracted to design the City Gate project in 2009 and signed a further contract in 2015 after delays bogged down the project.
That agreement, RPBW is arguing, assured the workshop of a further €300,000 once the project had reached the stage of "practical completion".
The new Parliament building was officially inaugurated in May 2015 and has hosted Malta's MPs ever since.
It was GHRC's responsibility, the architecture firm has said, to ensure that Bovis, the project management firm tasked with overseeing works, issued the necessary practical completion certificates on time.
"Failure to do so does not release you of your contractual obligations," RPBW said in its letter.
The architecture firm has set a two-day deadline to receive the €300,000 amount plus interest, saying it will proceed with legal action should it fail to receive the money on time.
A copy of the judicial letter was also forwarded to the offices of Malita Investments, the Special Purpose Vehicle set up in 2012 to finance the City Gate project.
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