The wish that in Kalkara the Cross of the Great Siege which unfortunately was destroyed several years ago is to be rebuilt, was discussed by the Assoċjazzjoni Wirt il-Kalkara during meeting number 5 on Monday 30th October 2017. Following this meeting the Association began to look for more photographs in which this cross might be visible, but unfortunately almost none could be found. On the other hand, we started to get quotations for the construction and sculpture in stone. The Committee expressed the wish that once done, this cross is to be placed in a square located in Triq ir-Rnella corner with Triq is-Salvatur, so it can be enjoyed more. In the same months, two applications for funds were submitted, but unfortunately were not accepted.
The Committee did not give up on this dream, infect during a meeting with Hon. Glenn Bedingfield on 13th March 2018, this project was mentioned as one of the targets of the Assoċjazzjoni Wirt il-Kalkara. Hon. Bedingfield, who had just been appointed Co-ordinator to the Cottonera strategy, pledged his support in this regard. This led to a meeting in July 2018 on the place suggested to Dr. Mireille Fsadni of the Rehabilitation Projects Office. All parties involved discussion on the necessary plans along with the applications to be made. The approval of the Local Council was also sought for the development which was approved immediately. All necessary plans from the Restoration Directorate were finished in early September 2018 and thus a formal application was submitted for the use of the land with the Lands Authority. Following this approval, in November a formal request was again submitted for the necessary permit at the Planning Authority, which was approved on the 23rd of January 2019. In February, tenders were issued for the stone works and the building of the cross. Later, Mallia Stoneworks were chosen for the works.
The plans made by the Restoration Directorate
During the same period, the Committee of the Assoċjazzjoni Wirt il-Kalkara applied under the AVOS project within the Maltese Council for the Arts to create a joint venture activity between several Kalkara entities on the day of the inauguration of the monument of the Great Siege Cross. This application was approved in April 2019 were coordination for the setup of this activity was kickstarted. It was decided that in this activity, the two bands of Kalkara were to do a joined band march while also a re-enactment of the cross myth was to be set up by the children of Kalkara. Work began to publish a book on the historical information about the same story, this has been distributed to all Kalkara homes during the month of August. Thanks go to Bank of Valletta, Ventura General Gas Limited and MJK Transport Limited for sponsoring this publication (click here to see the publication). Adding to this, a stainless steel plaque was done to be placed near the monument showing historical information in Maltese and English.
The stainless steel plaque showing information in Maltese and English
The works of the monument sculpture was completed and started to be put in place in the end of July 2019 so that in August everything was in place. At the same time, with the help of the Mayor Mr. Wayne Aquilina and the Local Council, maintenance work started on the square and its benches. This work was done by the Foundation for Tourism Development Zones within the Ministry for Tourism. Works also started on the installation of decorative lighting in the same square with the help of Minister Hon. Joe Mizzi. Finally, the inauguration ceremony took place on Friday 6th September 2019 and thus the first concrete project of the Assoċjazzjoni Wirt il-Kalkara was completed.
Various photos showing the works on the cross and the square