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Time, clocks and art in Għajnsielem belfry 

A long-awaited dream of the parishioners of Għajnsielem became a reality last Sunday as they witnessed the historic inauguration of the set of four clocks installed in the church belfry tower.

The idea originaed by Archpriest Canon Frankie Bajada saw its realisation when artist Vince Caruana developed the concept and the artistic designs.

“The concept revolves around the number four,  incorporating the four evangelists, the four seasons, the four elements and the four directions, to suit the four clock faces, one on each side of the belfry,” the artist explains.

The evangelists, represented as winged living figures, and the elements, produced in coloured glass, were assembled in pre-cut white marble dials. The choice of coloured glass represent the seasons, while the direction is where they are actually facing. 

The clock faces (pictured) do not simply tell time. Their symbolism extends to the numbers, where nine and three o’clock are represented by the alpha and omega respectively, 12 is represented by Roman numerals and the sixth hour is represented by three stars representing the eternal virginity of Holy Mary, to whom the parish church is dedicated. While these were cut out in copper and gilded with 24-carat gold, the clockworks were manufactured by Cornille-Havard foundry in France.

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