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Council seeks removal of Luqa 'vulgar' monument before Pope's visit

(File picture taken in 2006)

(File picture taken in 2006)

Luqa local council has demanded the removal of the 'monument of shame' opposite the Lidl supermarket, before the Pope's visit.

In a statement issued today, Mayor John Schembri said that the council welcomed the fact that Pope Benedict would be going to Luqa.

However, he added, "in the opinion of the council, the Pope's first visit among us risks being a source of embarrassment to the people of Luqa and the Maltese in general, due to the obscene 'monument' which is still dominating the 'LIDL' roundabout on one's entry into the village."

Mr Schembri said that ever since this parody of artistic expression was erected, the council had never ceased to draw the attention of the central government to the fact that this monument, if indeed it deserved the name, constituted a vulgar insult as well as an arrogant imposition on the people of Luqa.

"On this issue, the Council has already consulted and has the total backing of the ecclesiastical authorities of the village, who have in fact already written to complain about the absurd welcome immediately awaiting the Pope's arrival at Luqa and have asked for a quick redress of the situation. There can be no doubt that, among the people of Luqa, there is a widespread cross-party consensus that the object placed at the entrance of Luqa is not the most fitting way in which to greet the Pope, especially by what is considered to be the most Catholic country in the world.

"Consequently, the Luqa Local Council is once again launching a firm and heartfelt appeal to Government, and particularly the Parliamentary Secretary in charge of Local Councils, to make a timely and mature intervention ordering the removal of this so-called work of art which has been lumped upon the village of Luqa.

"If not out of respect for the residents of Luqa, this intervention is being requested at least as a sign of respect for His Holiness the Pope. This would, in the Council's opinion, be a fitting conclusion to the current praiseworthy embellishment exercise being carried out in the Pope's honour across the Maltese Islands."

Colonna Mediterranea, as the monument is actually called, is the work of Paul Vella Critien and was installed in January 2006. The monumental sculpture was said to be an abstract based on fantasy and the beauty of the Mediterranean colours.

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