UPDATED: Daphne’s memorial cleared overnight

Updated with photos of a woman clearing away candles and flowers from the memorial

The memorial to mark the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia was cleared away for the umpteenth time in the dead of the night.

People walking into Valletta this morning found the hoarded off Great Siege monument clear of the banner, which had a photo of Caruana Galizia next to “justice”, and candles and flowers.

Nationalist MEP David Casa uploaded a photo of the empty space around the monument on Facebook, saying: “The memorial in Valletta has been cleared away in the middle of the night, again. Only cowards do this in pitch darkness, but rest assured we will be there in broad daylight restoring it once more”.

The monument was blocked off with wooden boards last week for urgent “restoration to start immediately”. However, no work has yet started on it.

Activists had to guard the banner placed directly on the wall and kept watch on Saturday night – the eve of the 11 month anniversary of her death – to ensure that it would remain in place for the vigil.

In a Facebook post, investigative journalist Roberto Saviano, author of best-seller ‘Gomorrah’ , praised the efforts of the activists who constantly worked to keep alive the monument to Caruana Galizia.

Saviano, who has been under constant police protection after receiving death threats from the publication of his book, said Caruana Galizia was tormented in life and death. For 11 months, this memorial is replaced by activists who want to keep her memory alive to be immediately removed.

This memorial is a reminder to everyone that those guilty of her death have not yet been found, he said

It is a tangible, physical reminder that a journalist was murdered for her investigations – in an EU state and European Capital Culture – and this was evidently bothering someone, Saviano said.

He pointed out that the monument had been blocked off for works and that the banner removed by government employees on Saturday. “Those who call for justice for Daphne’s death did not give up – they put up the monument again and kept watch during the night up until the vigil to ensure it was not destroyed again”.

Quoting Giovanni Falcone – a Sicilian judge who was murdered for his investigations into the mafia – who said “men come and go but their ideas remain and continue to walk in other men’s shoes”, Saviano said, adding that through their actions, Maltese activists are not only keeping “her memory alive but even her ideas”.

A woman cleared away the empty candles in front of the memorial, putting them into a box while abruptly telling a man who was explaining the reason why these were set up her reason for removing them: “I don’t agree with you”.

It seems freedom of expression is a one-way street.



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