The monument dedicated to Dom Mintoff is a celebration of Malta's present and future, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on Thursday evening moments before the unveiling of the statue of the former prime minister at Castille Square.

Dr Muscat said that the former prime minister would have probably not wanted a monument to honour him, since he believed that such statues represented the past.

“But we are here to celebrate the present and the future. We cannot speak of Mr Mintoff without speaking of the continuous element of change he embodied,” the prime minister said, noting that the fervent spirit of relentlessness could still be felt today.

Work in progress.Work in progress.

On Mr Mintoff’s visions, Dr Muscat said that he saw in Malta things that very few people would see, often holding views that went beyond his time.

“The monument will join two other people with whom Mr Mintoff disagreed but respected and no pedestal could carry the weight of the visions of the giants in this square.

“Mr Mintoff gave us the step to the future and opened the door to this wide open. That is why today we honour his memory,” the prime minister said.

Also speaking at the unveiling, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici said those his age may not remember the days when Mr Mintoff was leader but they were surely aware of his legacy.

Dr Bonnici noted that while many at the time might have not appreciated the former Labour Party leader, there was newfound respect from these people as the time passed.

“As a politician leaves the arena, spectators and protagonists become closer. This evening’s event is not one for fanatics or idolisation but it honours someone who had worked tirelessly for this country,” Dr Bonnici said.

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