Conservation of a historical tomb at the Central Link Project site in Attard for public enjoyment

Reference Number: PR201194, Press Release Issue Date: Jun 24, 2020
Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg and Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government José Herrera visited the Central Link Project site in Attard, where a historical tomb was found buried and was conserved thanks to dedicated work by Infrastructure Malta under the guidance of the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage. It will remain visible for public enjoyment. The operation was done by specialised contractors with special equipment, and cost over €250,000.

Minister Ian Borg said, “When we implement these kinds of projects, we work hand in hand with all involved entities, including those who – like us – prioritise the protection of the Maltese people’s interests. Such discoveries are no coincidence, but happen because we are working according to the guidance of the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage and the work is done carefully, such that it gives us an opportunity to not only make such discoveries, but to conserve our country’s heritage. Progress and conservation should go hand in hand. Let’s continue working to move forward while protecting our heritage to honour our ancestors and leave it for those who will come after us.”

“I am pleased to note that, following a joint effort between the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage and Infrastructure Malta, a tomb from the Punic era has been preserved. It is important to strike a balance between our infrastructural needs and our heritage and environmental needs,” stated Minister José Herrera.

The operation included temporary coating of the inside of the tomb with a geotextile type specialised material and filling with expansion foam and expanded polystyrene. A wide and deep trench of around one storey was then cut without vibrations in a hexagonal shape in the rock a little further away from the remains. A concrete and metal belt was then put around the tomb block to strengthen it, and it was cut from the bottom before being placed on metal beams. This was then lifted and placed in a place identified by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, where the tomb will remain accessible.

The Central Link Project includes the rebuilding of the arterial route between Mrieħel and Ta’ Qali for improved efficiency, less pollution and new facilities for alternative means of transport. Archaeologists approved by the Superintendence are observing the implementation of the project to ensure coordinated work towards conservation.​