Unfortunately, this week, Gozo lost one of its iconic buildings.

It wasn’t any so-called ‘important’ or ‘scheduled’ house. It was known as Qbajjar cottage and, in my childhood, it was a lonely house at Xwejni Bay, close to Marsalforn. It was a building that, for us, was always there and, although in the last decades many new apartments were built in Xwejni, Qbajjar cottage still gave character to the popular beach.

Now it is no more, completely demolished “…to erect basement garage/apartments, three-storey apartments block and a penthouse”, according to the Planning Authority site.

I’ve seen Qbajjar cottage in many photographs, paintings and drawings of Gozo. When are we going to realise that these simple buildings are also a part of why Gozo is so special?

When Joseph Zammit, who took these photographs (above), posted the sad news of the demolition of Qbajjar cottage on his Facebook page, the outcry was impressive. Yet, none of us will bring this humble vernacular building back.

I do not foresee anyone photographing or painting the three-story apartment block that will take its place.

Why cannot the PA protect these kind of buildings?

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