Around 30 steel rods have been driven deep into St Paul’s Bastions in Mdina in an attempt to firmly anchor the neglected fortifications that have slowly been slipping down the clay slope.

The steel piles, each one around 30-metres long, were inserted into the centuries-old fortifications to hold together and support the bastion, a Rural Affairs Ministry spokesman said.

The ministry, which is overseeing the works, organised an open day at Mdina yesterday, giving people the opportunity to visit and see the restoration works for themselves. Around 800 people took up the offer.

Completed in 1551, the bastion forms part of over six kilometres of fortifications, which have been neglected over the years. The fortifications in Valletta, Mdina and Vittoriosa are being restored over a span of five years as part of an EU-funded project.

The works, costing €36 million, will restore large chunks of the walls around the three fortified towns as well as those that once protected Gozo’s Citadel.

Malta boasts over 60 km of fortifications, of which 25 km are in the Grand Harbour area. The restoration programme will focus on areas with strong tourism potential and with high architectural value.

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