Villa Rosa, Moynihan House,and Dolphin House have all been targeted as part of a redevelopment project to take place around Saint George’s bay in St. Julian’s. The plans show that the wall surrounding Villa Rosa shall be demolished so as to add a shopping area, restaurants, and a pedestrian walkway.
However it is Dolphin House and Moynihan House which will suffer the most since they are soon to be demolished and replaced by the monotonous appearance of a building block. Moynihan House is a rare sight in Malta with its Victorian elements. Moreover it is of great historic significance since it belonged to Lord Berkeley Moynihan, a well-known British abdominal surgeon who also served as the Major General in the British Army. Besides the historical importance of this building, geologists confirmed that a large cave is found underneath this building which leads into the sea to a depth of 50m below sea level.
Y4TE believes that cultural heritage is part of our environment as it has shaped the landscape and tells the story of a people. Therefore it must be preserved and protected at all costs. It is surprising that this building, which is of historical and cultural importance has no protection since it indeed deserves a Grade 2 protection thus disallowing any form of demolition. Losing such a historical building for development’s sake would result in the loss of our cultural aspect which as a nation we hold most dear to us. The clear outcry from various youth expressing their dismay at the project through social media is a sign that such a development would only be a further scar on an island which has so much to offer but has already lost too much.
Development is unstoppable; however we must consider and evaluate carefully what is at stake before enlarging residential and commercial areas.