Malta, a Unesco world heritage under serious threat
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Ggantija temples, a Unesco World Heritage site in Gozo almost one thousand years older than Egypt’s oldest pyramid is attracting public outcry and scrutiny following a decision by the Planning Authority to grant the approval for a controversial 22-apartment block and 20 basement garages. The approved development will be situated less than 200 meters from the Ggantija Temples. This decision has drawn attention and criticism, especially considering the sitès proximity to the ancient temples, which hold significant cultural and historical value. The controversy has also generated hundreds of objections from concerned individuals, citing potential repercussions on the Ggantija Temples’ World Heritage status.
Despite Unescòs request for a heritage impact assessment, the decision by the Maltese planning authority has sparked criticism and concerns about the potential impact on the historic site. The Planning Board stated that the Superintendent of Cultural Heritage did not request the Planning Authority to mandate the assessment. They cited statements from the SCH and the Unesco World Heritage Sites Technical Committee, indicating no objection to the proposed building’s volume and massing. The Unesco World Heritage Centre had underlined the need for a Heritage Impact Assessment in line with operational guidelines. The Planning Commission had initially suspended a decision on the application, awaiting the assessment. Although NGOs argued that the site falls within the buffer zone of the temples, the Planning Authority said that it lies in an area of archaeological importance but outside the formal buffer zone.
– Photo credit: Heritage Malta –