The Malta Independent 23 April 2024, Tuesday
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Gozitan NGO urges restoration of ‘deteriorating’ Fort Chambray

Tuesday, 2 January 2024, 12:23 Last update: about 5 months ago

The NGO Ghawdix has called for the urgent restoration of the “deteriorating” Fort Chambray, which overlooks the Gozo Channel.

“We are deeply concerned about the deteriorating state of Fort Chambray, a historic fortress built in the 1750s by the Knights of Saint John. Once a stronghold providing refuge during sieges, Fort Chambray now suffers severe deterioration, evident in badly eroded stonework, fallen bastion blocks, extensive wall fissures, and dumped construction and municipal waste,” the NGO said in a statement.

Photos shared by the NGO show the state of the Fort, which is now in private hands, and shows deterioration to the bastion walls, including in the form of large cracks and areas which appear to have been subject to small collapses. Waste is also seen dumped around the Fort.

Ghawdix said that “geological challenges and prolonged neglect have contributed to the current dilapidated state of the structure, particularly impacting the West-facing bastions.”

The NGO noted that despite the conditional approval of a restoration application in July 2021 by the Planning Authority, covering bastion walls and internal structures, it appears that vital restoration works have not yet begun.

“This delay jeopardises Fort Chambray's preservation, risking abandonment and further collapse,” it said.

“The privatisation of the site in 2004 has been most detrimental, allowing the fort to fall into neglect, jeopardising its status as common heritage,” the NGO continued.

Ghawdix urgently called on all responsible entities, especially those contractually obligated, to initiate the necessary actions.

“Gozo is rapidly losing its heritage, making the preservation of Fort Chambray critical to safeguard Gozo's unique history and architectural legacy.”

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