Partit Demokratiku (PD) has called on the Superintendence of Culture Heritage to address the “worsening situation” of is-Salib tal-Għolja, also known Laferla Cross; and ensure the site’s timely protection.
In a statement, PD described the landmark, which is in the vicinity of the Prime Minister’s summer residence in Girgenti, as being the highest point in Malta which was erected in 1903 close to a chapel of the Annunciation.
The Party added that in 2014, the area was embellished and its access was improved by the EU’s Rural Development Programme; and since 2018, the area has been barricaded for safety reasons. “A cave is showing signs that it is about to collapse, the Chapel has been invaded by wild pigeons and cracks have begun to show in the pedestal of the Laferla Cross,” stated interim Party Leader Godfrey Farrugia.
PD explained how in the last traditional ‘fjakolata’ of Maundy Thursday, where the hill and the cross are illuminated by torches and candles as part of the Holy Week pilgrimage, the vicinity around the landmark was closed off. It added that closing off the whole plateau area is no solution. “This is yet another case where we are abandoning our heritage to perish,” stated Timothy Alden.
The Party concluded insisting that Malta’s culture and heritage have intrinsic value and are the hallmarks of Malta’s true wealth, yet another landmark and historical site will soon perish due to neglect and lack of upkeep.