Watch: Trenching works start in close proximity to Mosta 17th century chapel

A video sent in by a reader shows that trenching works have commenced in close proximity to St Andrew’s Chapel in Mosta which is found in an area known as Tal-Qares.

Newsbook.com.mt has already revealed that cracks have appeared after works started on a different development when excavation works were going on in Triq id-Difiża Ċivili.

Read: Cracks appear in 17th century Mosta chapel

The footage shows an excavator jackhammer within two meters of the chapel.

Newsbook.com.mt is informed that trenching works are currently underway in front of the chapel. This newsroom learnt that a verbal agreement was in place which had outlined that the works would be carried out manually rather than using an excavation jackhammer close to site. Newsbook.com.mt has learnt that the trenching works which lies 2m away from the chapel, are for new water mains, which is a project being carried out by the government.

Concerns about the 17th century chapel have consistently been raised. In a condition report prepared by Perit Vince Buhagiar he had warned that the proposed excavation works will invariably cause vibrations to the rock terrain which could be both major and minor. He warned that even if the latest cutting technology is used utilising perimeter trenching prior to pneumatic hammer equipment, there is great concern that structural movement will “inevitably occur”. Perit Buhagiar had warned that, “that the potential damage that may be caused to the chapel could be now irreversible”.

The chapel lost its parvis when a house was built in front of it.

St Andrew’s Chapel, which was built in 1657 in an area known as Tal-Qares on the outskirts of Mosta to serve the local farming communities. Archaeological remains have been found and evidence of established cart ruts were discovered in the area.

The chapel was restored back in 2002. A detailed survey was carried out which suggested the structural repairs and restoration necessary in 2000. In 2002, the numerous fissure cracks which ran along the corners were repaired as well as the barrel vault ceiling and facade of the chapel.

Newsbook.com.mt has sent questions to the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage.

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Watch: 17th Century Chapel faces damage risk from proposed development