A section of the Valletta bastions known as the Marina Curtain close to Victoria Gate has been leaking, with residents concerned it may be sewage.
The leakage has discoloured the fortification and has come to light because of ongoing restoration works being overseen by the Justice Ministry’s Restoration Directorate.
The restoration is part of a larger project involving several sections of the ramparts and bastions around Valletta. The project started 16 years ago in 2007 and has since been renewed twice, in 2013 and again in 2018.
The areas of the historic bastion from which the possible effluent is leaking were previously taken up by foliage, ostensibly growing there because of the leak. Since the restoration works began, the foliage was removed, but the underlying leak was not addressed, with the waste now trickling down the facade.
The issue raises questions on whether the constant trickling will cause lasting damage to the bastions, the very issue the restoration works were commissioned to address.
The €330,000 restoration works on the Marina Curtain that started in October 2022, were announced by National Heritage Minister Owen Bonnici and are being done under the direction of the Restoration Directorate by Targe Restoration Ltd. with materials supplied by Philip A Tabone Ltd.
The planning application for the restoration of the extensive bastions surrounding Valletta for the works being carried out was submitted in 2018 (PA/04206/18).
It was granted as an extension of an earlier 2013 planning application (PA/0272/13), which was also an extension of an earlier application (PA/3038/07) granted almost 16 years ago.
Targe, a company first registered in Malta in May 2022, has been awarded several contracts from the government since its registration, some by direct order. It is owned by Brenda and David Jan Kwiatkowski, of Polish descent, and is registered at a residential address in Naxxar. The company currently has no website, with no online presence that The Shift could establish.
In April 2023, Targe was awarded a €775,480 contract (eCT2258/2022) for the restoration of the St Helen’s Curtain in Cospicua. In November 2022, the company was also awarded a €40,682 direct order contract for the restoration of the Lazarus Bastions in Valletta, issued by the Lands Authority.
Justice Minister Jonathan Attard, under whose remit the Restoration Directorate falls, did not answer questions sent by The Shift asking for an explanation on the issue.