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This blog is dedicated to Malta - my island home. My aim is not to bore you with history but to share my thoughts and a few facts together with a photo or two. For a more in -depth background of the island please go here. The purpose of this blog is not to point out the short-comings of the island. There are plenty that do that already. My wish is to show you the beauty of an island at the cross roads of the Mediterranean, a melting pot of history; a place where fact and fiction are sometimes fused to create unique myths and legends; a country that has been conquered so many times that our culture is a mish mesh of the lands that surround us and of lands far away. I confess that my greatest desire is to make you fall in love with this tiny enchanting island.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Triton Fountain and The End Of An Era

Valletta (2)

Triton Fountain at Sunset

This is Triton Fountain – currently situated at the main bus terminus just outside the walls of Valletta. It is a sculpture in bronze by Maltese sculptor Vincent Apap. Erected in 1959, it soon became a much-loved landmark. Indeed its wide marble basin has always been a favourite meeting place with local teenagers. On warm summer evenings the sound of its splashing water has accompanied many a hasty teen-age kiss and its circular basin has provided the perfect platform for  many private dramas and outbursts of youthful angst.

Valletta (3)

Triton Fountain at Sunset

Originally, the bowl held up by the tritons was much larger and the central column (which you can just  make out in the photos) did not exist. However, after the surface of the bowl was controversially used as a performance stage in the late 1970s, the structure was damaged. For many years it was in disrepair but it still continued to be a popular meeting place. It was repaired  in the late 1980s (when the smaller bowl and central column were included) and the cheerful sound of its jets of water continued to delight new  generations.

Valletta (5)

Triton Fountain at Sunset

Triton Fountain is now back on everyone’s lips. The entrance to our capital city is being given a much needed face-lift. The plans were drawn by world-renowned architect Renzo Piano. Unfortunately, Piano’s plans include the removal of the fountain from its current location to another location 50 metres away where it will, most likely, no longer function as a fountain. This plan has not really gone done well with the general population since many feel that the fountain has earned its place at the entrance to Valletta not only because of its artistic value but because of the affectionate hold it has on the national psyche. Those, like me, who have gown up with this landmark, have met countless friends at its base and who have have sat on its warm stones on many lazy summer nights, are loathe to see it go. But the powers-that-be have spoken and Piano’s plans  have won over national nostalgia and Apap’s artistry.

Valletta (14)

Triton Fountain at Night

10 comments:

  1. Oh the woes of modernisation. I suppose it is necessary but why can't they just leave landmarks, trees and much cherished places in peace?

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  2. Triton Fountain looks spectacular with the water flowing, especially in your night picture. I'm sure many people will miss the moving water action of the fountain.

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  3. I did not know about this structure until just moments ago and yet I am grieved by the plans to so alter it.

    Beautiful post.

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  4. I am with Suze on this one... Why would they do such as that, a true monument to the area and to all who have lived in its shadow. Ugh

    Bises,
    Genie

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  5. I really don't like the idea of them moving the fountain, because like you said- once moved it probably will no longer function as a fountain. Just one more iconic beauty here they are destroying I think.

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  6. Grrrrr. I am so annoyed! I hate that.
    ... it's so beautiful!
    They need to at least make it a working fountain!
    I'm protesting!

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  7. Hi Loree
    Just catching up with your posts..

    Well.. I think it would be a terrible loss if the fountain was non-functioning...Like taking away it's lifeforce... Such a piece of history should be honoured.. not destroyed... Here's hoping she gets to stay..

    xxx Julie

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  8. That's a shame. Why does change have to be at the expense of tradition? What's the point of a fountain that doesn't work?

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