As the official opening of Valletta 2018 – European Capital of Culture draws near, construction on Valletta’s two main projects, Triton Place and Is-Suq tal-Belt, will be completed “just in time”, The Sunday Times of Malta has learnt.

A spokeswoman for the Valletta 2018 Foundation said that the Triton Fountain outside City Gate and the area surrounding it, Triton Place, would be finished “just in time” for the official opening on January 20.

The bronze Triton statues were returned to their spot at the centre of Triton Place in August, but the square itself remains cordoned off as works continue at all hours of the day.

READ: Tritons return to Valletta entrance

There is also no sign of the 10 wooden kiosks to appear around the square despite the August design unveiling. The kiosks will replace the old stands which had for decades become synonymous with the entrance to Valletta.

As for Is-Suq tal-Belt – the regeneration at the old market in Merchants Street being undertaken by Arkadia Ltd under a 65 year lease – the spokeswoman said the foundation was informed it too would be ready for the opening.

READ: This is what Valletta kiosks will look like

The refurbished market will feature a lower floor with several stalls preparing and selling food and a ground floor with catering establishments. A multifunctional top floor will host a cafeteria in the morning which will transform into an entertainment space later in the day.

Valletta will soon be rid of all heavy machinery as it gears up to assume the European Capital of Culture title. Tower cranes on all construction sites, including those at the MCP car park in Floriana, are to be removed.