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Art Deco hotel's Buġibba-isation

Although I am not a frequent visitor of the beautiful Phoenicia Hotel, I have always been an admirer of this rare gem of art deco architecture.

I was therefore appalled and shocked to witness the ghastly Buġibba-isation of this hotel's magnificent foyer. The hideous imposition of a bulky roundabout bar skulking in the middle of the once-open arched space of the foyer, accompanied by the most kitsch black dancing figure, does nothing but pile ugliness upon ugliness.

Such worthless pretentiousness is shocking in the context of the fine art deco style and spirit of this historic colonial 1930s artistic statement, intertwined with what I call a Maltese constructivist idiom.

To add insult to injury, the intrepid proprietors decided to impose Maltese village stone onto the outer circle of the foyer, thus successfully transforming the Phoenicia's unique quality into the repetitive mass tourist culture of Buġibba.

If this is today's trend, then we have no reason to clamour for any change in City Gate or the old Opera House ruins. And yes, if this is indeed today's trend, let us all stop moaning and be happy, proud of our Maltese roundabouts kitsch.

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