A huge metal structure destined to hold chairs, tables, umbrellas and street furniture was set up in Merchants Street to the anger of both people and local councillors. Positioned in front of the luxury Rosselli hotel, the structure was allegedly approved by its owners AX Holdings Ltd. Councillor Christian Micallef stated that he will not accept this ‘obscenity’, saying there is a limit for everything and this surpasses that boundary.
Micallef revealed he spoke to mayor Alfred Zammit and together, they will be fighting against this ‘abuse towards the residents and locality of Valletta.’ He added that such a moment is when political parties show that the resident takes precedence over everything.
Councillor Mark Spiteri Lucas also issued a social media statement, asking ‘Quo Vadis?’, describing the structure as an obscenity as well. Ray Azzopardi, deputy mayor, also showed the same disdain for the structure, stating that action will be taken in the coming days.
AX Group, however, told newsroom Times of Malta, that all stakeholders were discussed with, assuring that the structure will ‘complement Valletta and Malta’s strategy of upgrading the tourism product’. Former Valletta mayor Paul Borg Olivier stated that the permit had been fast-tracked with ‘record-time’ in which the Planning Authority granted it.
The Malta Tourism Authority said it did not issue any permits for structures (tables and chairs), suggesting to forward questions to the Planning Authority. Keith Sciberras, head of the university’s art and and art history department, said that the structure ‘ignores many aspects of town life, urban semiotics, and heritage.’ He warned that the ‘unabashed commercialisation of Valletta is now almost complete.’
Photo Source: Il-Kunsillier Mark Spiteri Lucas FB