‘My heart stopped when I saw her’ – Statue of Our Lady to return to renovated niche in Kappara
The statue of Our Lady which had to make way for the Kappara project will soon be back in its place in an even more beautiful, renovated niche.
Work on the stone is well underway so that within three months’ time, there will be a monumental niche on the side of the bridge which will welcome the statue of Our Lady which over the years was a symbol of devotion and gestures of solidarity.
In a garage in Qormi, Joseph Spiteri is busy working on the stone of the new niche. He explained that the work is being done using traditional Maltese limestone instead of what is known as “gagazza’ used in the previous niche which was located on Regional road, near the swimming pool.
‘You have your design ready and orders on how you are going to proceed. then you have to have a certain amount of discipline so that nothing escapes your attention and you try and achieve perfection. Then your work will speak for itself.”
The design was made by architect Vincent Centorino, who said that the niche is in the style of a classic chapel inspired by the French school of art which is not often used in Malta.
”We are still on the lower part. Obviously, the higher up you go the more intricate it becomes with grooves, moulding and details which are more complicated.”
The niche had been in the area for the last 26 years and was built on the initiative of John Lauria from Gzira. Visibly emotional, he said that once it will be inaugurated he will continue to visit the statue every day as long as his health holds out.
“I saw her last week and my heart stopped. I will go every day, even if I am in a wheelchair I will keep my vow. My devotion to Our Lady is first class.”
The new niche is being made in collaboration with the Transport Ministry and the Gzira local council.
An official from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, Tano Vella said, “as a Ministry, we took care of planning it, and our architect designed it while the council is financing it.” ‘
Gzira mayor Conrad Borg Manche said, ”we wanted it to be placed in an appropriate place. Where the barrier was it was too high and not accessible. Now whoever wishes to do so, can stop and park nearby and go down to visit the statue.”
The new niche is expected to be inaugurated in May.