The Malta Independent 16 January 2018, Tuesday

Constitution being ‘violated beyond belief’ in favour of development

Sunday, 14 January 2018, 11:15 Last update: about 3 days ago

Partit Demokratiku (PD) yesterday demanded that criminal liability be attached to the mismanagement and destruction of Malta’s patrimony, saying: “The Constitution of Malta, Chapter II, dictates that the State shall safeguard the landscape and the historical and artistic patrimony of the Nation.”

But the article, according to PD, “has been routinely violated beyond belief by successive governments since Independence, and it is time to make it justiciable.”

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Partit Demokratiku called on NGOs and the authorities to intervene, and for policy and legislation to be revised so as to eliminate loopholes.

A case in point, according to PD, is the proposal to remove the topsoil in the Tal-Wej area of Mosta “on the pretext of carrying out an archaeological investigation.”

Partit Demokratiku noted how the area is a Class A area of archaeological importance, and that Din l-Art Helwa is asking the Superintendent of Cultural Heritage to intervene so as to unearth “the real intentions behind this proposal.”

PD said yesterday: “The Tal-Qares site in Mosta suffered an archaeological survey which led to its utter destruction in favour of a showroom. The contents of this study remain secretive, and it seems that this is just another case of loopholes being used for the destruction of Malta’s heritage. It is undeniable that there is a concerted effort to exploit loopholes and come up with excuses to annihilate Malta’s patrimony in favour of short-term gain.

“There can be no excuses for the rape and pillaging of archaeological sites stretching back to antiquity, which we know so little about and which can contribute so much to tourism and our understanding of ourselves. Ongoing works at the Tal-Istabal site in Qormi promise the destruction of remains which include Bronze Age cart ruts, masonry and a unique rock-cut tomb dating back to the Roman period.”

PD added that while supporting the work of Malta’s NGOs and movements, including the Temple Rescue team, it is asking the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Councils to be “a prime mover and to ensure that the Malta’s various archaeological sites, some of which lie abandoned, are included in the Public Domain.”

PD said it will see to their inclusion, but called on NGOs, volunteers and experts to assist in covering the range of sites for submission.”

Partit Demokratiku said it “remains the only credible alternative to the loss and destruction of Malta’s natural and architectural inheritance, and calls on all who wish to save our country to join forces with it.”

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