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3 July 2004
Twinning moves for two ancient villages

Villagers in Avebury (England) have taken the first steps towards a possible formal twinning arrangement with a town in Malta. At a meeting attended by the High Commissioner for Malta, Dr George Bonello Du Puis, about three quarters of villagers present wanted to see Avebury twinned with the Maltese community of Tarxien (pronounced Tar-shin). The initial suggestion was made to the village by John Feene who works for Wiltshire County Council; Parish council chairman Jenny Baldrey said a small committee would take the idea forward.
     The meeting heard that Tarxien has a population of about 8,000 and was looking for a British community to twin with. Malta is one of the ten new accession countries to have recently signed up to the European Union and a number of twinning links with communities in the UK are being explored. Tarxien, like other places in Malta, is famous for its ancient temple sites.
     Melanie Pomeroy-Kellinger, an archaeologist and implementation officer for the Avebury management plan, spoke of the similarities between the two communities and their ancient monuments, hinting at the possibility of opening up archaeological links between the two communities.
     Dr Du Puis said Malta had a number of ancient temple sites, a thousand years older than Avebury or Stonehenge. Among the most famous was the Tarxien temple complex with its famous Hypogeum or inner temple that was, he said, one of the wonders of the world. He said: "It is just and fair that Tarxien be paired with Avebury."

Source: Gazette & Herald, This is Marlborough (1 July 2004)

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