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11 November 2004
Gozo's heritage

Maltese government's commitment towards the national heritage is shown by the restoration works of national monuments in Malta. Private entities should be encouraged and congratulated for sponsoring works of restoration and conservation of historical value. This is an investment in the Maltese culture and in tourism in general. Alas, this cannot be said in Gozo's case. Gozo lacks a coherent organisation, similar to the Valletta Rehabilitation Centre, responsible for the national heritage of Victoria.
     No measures have been taken either to preserve Ggantija Temples which are protected by UNESCO and are the world's oldest free standing building. Tourists and heritage-proud Maltese feel ashamed at seeing the megaliths being supported by decades old and rusting scaffolding as well as the iron beam supports in the interior parts of the temples. To complicate matters, the first canopy protection to be installed, as part of the national programme for prehistoric remains conservation, is at the Mnajdra temples complex in Malta.
     If the government finds it difficult to sponsor such restoration works, one should rope in the private entities as is done in Malta. So, immediate decision is needed to preserve Gozo's heritage.

Source: The Sunday Times of Malta (7 November 2004)

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