MEPA green-lights' Arch of Wignacourt
MEPA has given the green-light for the building of a replica of the Arch of Wignacourt, after it was damaged by a British Royal Air Force crane 70 years ago.
During a press conference, Minister for Resources and Rural Affairs George Pullicino said that the Arch would serve as a monument for Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt, who paid for the aqueduct used to carry water from Rabat to Valletta in 1615. The Arch would also honour Bontadino de Bontadini, the Dominican engineer who built the 15km Wignacourt Aqueduct and the 600-strong Maltese workforce who worked on the project for five years. He explained that the rebuilding of the Fleur-de-Lys arch would finally complete the restoration of the aqueduct.
“We started off with the restoration of the Saqqajja Hill fountain which was connected to canals and other springs which formed part of the aqueduct built by Grand Master Wignacourt to take water to Valletta. This is a minor project at the heart of the community which will enhance the sense of community in this particular area,” The Minister added.
Minister George Pullicino stressed that during this legislature, together with the restoration of the fortifications, the Government has undertaken 60 projects of restoration in villages and chapels, adding that a further 30 projects were undertaken in Valletta.
Minister for Finance, the Economy and Investment Tonio Fenech said that “it was good news for all those who have the culture and history of Malta at heart”. The investment of €280,000 was partly financed by Bank of Valletta and the rest through the Good Causes fund. He added that in the past 5 years, Malta witnessed an unprecedented investment on national heritage.
BOV CEO Charles Borg said: “The Bank is proud to be associated with a project that will embellish the area from where it operates. We appreciate the symbolism behind this arch that formed part of the aqueduct that provided water to the capital city".