Experienced and lifelong carpenters, the elderly brothers Julius and Charles Sacco have been vested with the responsibility of manufacturing Floriana’s new Triumphal Arch that was destroyed last April when it was burnt down.
Well-known for their artistic work on plinths, pedestals and niches for statues in various localities, the Sacco brothers face a stiff challenge to build the arch at a height of three storeys.
Julius explained the first task is the base and when this is completed the second step is that of the column and finally the finalisation of the arch.
Although aged 74 and 76 respectively, Charles and Julius said they are fully prepared to take on the challenge with Charles insisting they are filled with enthusiasm.
Mark Ciantar, who is charged with managing the external festivities of Floriana’s Parish feast of St Publius, said the new arch will be based on the original arch by George Cassar which was first mounted during the parish feast in 1899.
He said the same design will be used, including the arch’s sculptural design and studies are underway to produce the arch’s original design and decorations.
Floriana’s Archpriest, Fr Charles Cini, said the parish was strengthened in its resolve to rebuild the arch following a Government grant of €50,000 from the Fund for Just Causes, another grant from the Archbishop as well as that from the Floriana Football Club and other Floriana organisations.
He said the whole project will cost €100,000 and so far €60,000 has been donated. Fr Cini said that although the balance is still considerable, he is optimistic that Floriana benefactors no longer resident there will be found to make up the balance to restore the monument in its full glory.