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Fleur-de-Lys arch to be rebuilt

Fleur-de-Lys Arch

Fleur-de-Lys Arch

The administrative committee of Fleur-de-Lys and Birkirkara Council are planning to build a replica of Fleur-de-Lys arch on the roundabout between St Joseph High Road and the Rabat road.

The arch - also known as Wignacourt Arch - was actually a large arch and two smaller ones which linked the aqueduct in Mrieħel and Sta Venera. It was demolished after having been damaged by a Royal Air Force crane in an accident in 1943.

The arch was adorned by Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt's escutcheon and by three carved fleur-de-lys at the top, which gave the name to this locality.

Ronald Briffa, chairman of the administrative committee, said calls for the rebuilding of the arch were among the first topics which the committee discussed on its appointment in 2010. This arch, he said, was a source of pride for the people of the area.

The new arch will be built to the same dimensions of the old one, on the existing roundabout, so as not to hinder the heavy traffic flow.

Two plaques from the original arch, relocated recently, will be included in the new structure.

The project may be supported by Bank of Valletta in line with a condition imposed by Mepa when it granted the bank the permit to build its head office near by.

Mr Briffa said the new gate will cost up to €250,000 since stones will have to be cut to the same dimensions of the old arch and a supporting structure will have to be build underneath. He said that the development permit application before Mepa is in an advanced stage.

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