A French event organiser is set to be arraigned over the spray-painted markings that have cropped up across the Maltese countryside, which have been linked to a trail-running event.
Nature Extreme Developpement bills itself as a sports travel agency, and organised a “Malta & Gozo Islands Ultra-Trail” which should run from the 22nd to the 29th. But the 95km trail was marked by spray-painted arrows across the Maltese coast, to the chagrin of many.
On Wednesday, the Environment and Resources Authority confirmed that the culprits have been identified following an investigation carried out with the help of the police force, and that it would be enforcing the removal of the marks.
However, in an update on Thursday, inspections carried out by ERA officials and Environment Protection Unit police officers confirmed that the removal of the marks was not being done properly. The police also confirmed that they will be prosecuting the person responsible in the coming days.
Environmental activist Cami Appelgren, who went to Għajn Tuffieħa to personally check what remedial efforts were being done, confirmed that in some cases, sprayed rocks were simply overturned to cover the markings, while in other cases, it appeared that there were unsuccessful attempts to remove the paint with chemicals and a steel brush.
As one might expect, the Facebook page of the event organisers have been bombarded with insults by Maltese outraged at the vandalism carried out in support of a commercial event.