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‘A retractable roof on Valletta’s open air theatre is madness’

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'A retractable roof on Valletta's open air theatre is madness'Readers Letter – “According to some reports, the Government are considering the suggestion to fit a retractable roof to the open air theatre in Valletta and I think this would be madness. Surely there is no point in throwing good money after bad? The thing that is there at the moment is in my opinion a slap in the face to the Maltese people and was money wasted.

It’s hard to believe that Renzo Piano, even though I don’t particularly like him as an architect, would be willing to put his name to this thing filled with plastic seats.'A retractable roof on Valletta's open air theatre is madness'The opera house should be restored to its former glory in order to become something that the Maltese can be proud of, and something that tourists will pay good money to visit. It should be designed by a Maltese architect not a foreigner.

There are some excellent young architects in Malta so why not hold a competition to see who can come up with the best design and move on from there. However if the money is not there to do the job properly then don’t do half a job, wait until the money is in the pot to pay for it.

Why not set up a company specifically for the restoration of the opera house and raise the money for the restoration through the sale of shares to the public. That way the opera house would belong to the Maltese people.

If the will is there it can be done and a beautiful phoenix can rise from the ashes.”

James A. Tyrrell,

N. Ireland.

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    19 Responses

    1. Pat Holtom says:

      Mr Tyrrell, What makes you think that you have the right to interfere in these decisions? Have you by any wild chance suddenly become a Maltese citizen?

    2. James A. Tyrrell says:

      Pat what makes you think you have the right to decide who can or cannot comment? Are you one of these PN supporters who believe that their party can do no wrong even when they are destroying the look of Valletta? The roofless theatre was a stupid idea made by a stupid Government who’s only interest appeared to be spending money. Now that they can no longer dip their sticky fingers into the public coffers they are broke and can’t even pay their wages. Wake up and smell the coffee Pat.

    3. Pat Holtom says:

      James, why do you never answer straight questions? Of course I don’t think I have the right to decide who or who cannot comment! I’m a foreigner like you and I don’t interfere in Maltese politics which are none of my business. Though I do live in the 21st century and I appreciate the Piano project. I certainly don’t get the impression that you are particularly knowledgeable about architecture. I think you need a new hobby!

      • James A. Tyrrell says:

        If like me Pat you are a tourist then you should take more of an interest in the country. If you don’t give a damn about Malta or how it looks that’s fine too, just don’t think you have the right to jump down my throat because I do. What exactly does the Piano designed new City Gate have to do with architecture Pat? The Maltese people didn’t like the thing that was there before but somehow I don’t think they appreciate it being replaced with a slit! And what has that open air thing filled with plastic seats got to do with architecture Pat? Please tell me because I would love to hear the opinion of an expert.

        With regard to that other brilliant Piano design the new Parliament building it should never have been built in the first place. The Structure Plan for Valletta clearly lays down that: ‘A new Government administration centre will be developed outside Valletta to house most government departments, while Parliament itself and the ministries will concentrate in the palaces and auberges of Valletta.’ This Structure Plan is legally binding since it was ratified by Parliament and was drawn up precisely to protect the Maltese Islands, including Valletta. But as usual the arrogant GonziPN didn’t listen to anyone and went ahead with building his memorial.

        So Pat perhaps you can justify the Maltese Government going against a legally binding structure plan, the theatre with its plastic seats and the slit calling itself a City Gate as I for one would love to hear it.

    4. Pat Holtom says:

      Calm down James! I’m not a tourist, I’ve been living here on and off for 45 years and I have good friends here from all political parties. Just because you like mock baroque victorian buildings it doesn’t mean that everyone else has to like them. I’m just interested in why you are so fanatical about all, what’s your agenda?

    5. James A. Tyrrell says:

      Pardon my French Pat but why the hell does someone with an opinion have to automatically have an agenda? If I have an agenda then it is preserve as much as possible of these beautiful islands and to do so in such a way that it benefits the Maltese people and tourists alike. I don’t see any benefit to the Maltese people in employing a foreign architect at a cost of millions to design a building which is totally out of character with the capital city of Valletta. It’s even less of a benefit when that building should never have been built at all because technically the Government had to break their own laws to build it. And it’s even less of a benefit when the majority of Maltese people were against it but had their opinions ignored. And please, tell me what is wrong with using a Maltese architect someone who actually lives there and cares about what he leaves behind?

      When you ask people what their agenda is it’s the type of remark made by a PN supporter to a PL supporter or vice-versa. I don’t care about politics Pat. I wrote a lot about the gaffs made by Gonzi and his bunch because he surrounded himself with idiots who had no idea what they were doing. If JM surrounds himself with the same sort of idiots I’ll be writing about his gaffs too, so no political agenda then. Since you have been there off and on for the past 45 years you must have noticed that it’s an island and not a very big one. Don’t you think therefore it makes sense to look after it rather than cover it in concrete and ugly foreign designed buildings?

      By the way you avoided my original questions so I assume you can’t justify the City Gate project and are just awestruck by the name Piano.

    6. Pat Holtom says:

      I can’t even find your original question, where have you asked me to justify the city gate project? (I guess you also liked the original fascist type architecture that it has replaced?) One thing, I think you are lucky that the Maltese are so tolerant. In many countries you would have been locked up or at least deported and declared persona non grata for your insulting comments about the government, I hope for your sake that the new government is equally lenient.

    7. Mr Brightside says:

      Pat ….don’t react there are some very strange posters on this site…..I have found that there are are bullies, racists not to mention people who seem incapable of rational argument. No doubt Mr Tyrell will respond to me now but as a happy resident of Ghawdex hey … I care?

    8. James A. Tyrrell says:

      You can’t find my question. Wow! I guess you don’t have a scroll wheel on your mouse as it’s just a few inches up. For your benefit here it is again as I really would like to hear you justify it.

      ‘So Pat perhaps you can justify the Maltese Government going against a legally binding structure plan, the theatre with its plastic seats and the slit calling itself a City Gate as I for one would love to hear it.’

      You also seem to have a problem reading English as I have already stated that the thing that was there before was not liked but what the people deserved was a proper City Gate not a stupid looking slit in a wall. I mean it took a world renowned architect to design that?

      What insulting comments about the Government? I stated that certain members of that Government were idiots who had no idea what they were doing. That’s not an insulting comment, that’s the truth. No point mentioning names as we all know which members I’m referring to. I have also stated in the past that they were thieves which was also true unless you have another name for people who take money they are not entitled to behind the backs of the people who voted them into office. We also know that they did favours for their rich friends in return for boat rides amongst other things. They are also responsible for covering the islands in unnecessary properties in order to make their rich developer friends richer. You are aware Pat that there are over 75,000 empty properties on the islands yet MEPA keep passing out permits for more.

      As for whether or not the new Government will be any different all we can do is hope. I personally think they got off to a bad start by brown nosing the hunters and the Armier slum dwellers in order to get votes which they didn’t need anyway. That aside I still feel that Labour will be a more honest Government than the bunch who were in previously, but as I said I don’t give a damn about politics so if they start going down the same slippery road I’ll be writing about them too.

    9. Pat Holtom says:

      I guess it was buried amongst your superfluous verbiage and I missed it! I’m bowing out of this exchange. Got work to do! I wish you would find a new less unpleasant hobby, you might be happier!

    10. Anthoney says:

      @ Pat and Mr Brightside Mr Tyrrell is surely on the right side and he for sure knows what he is saying .Valletta gate has been ruined.Can`t you all remember how much opposition this project attracted including world renound Joseph Calleja especially the opera house .

      We should remember Valletta ENTRANCE as XAQQ GOL BELT

      • Eliza says:

        Malta was ruined the second it joined the EU. I never understood and still don’t understand why Malta wanted to liberate itself from British rule and declare their independance. Malta was excellent under British rule. What a mess Malta has become.

      • Peter says:

        Eliza are you serious? If yes, get a life.

    11. dorothy brincat says:

      I am a Maltese citizen and i hate it. Neither the parliament building or the city gate has any character at all. I think Mr. Piano is a very poor architect indeed

      • James A. Tyrrell says:

        The thing is Dorothy the great Piano probably looked at this as nothing too important given all the size of Malta. I would guess that he drew up a few quick sketches on his way back home and then passed the job over to someone else in the office.

      • Peter says:

        Mr Tyrrell can I remind you that Enzo Piano designed one of the most popular buildings in London and at this moment is the tallest building in Europe named The Shard. So did he drew up a few quick sketches about this building in London on his way back home ?
        You can see the links below about this building.

    12. James A. Tyrrell says:

      I don’t need to check your links to find out about the Shard as I watched it being built. I fail to see however what that has to do with the stupid designs he put his name to in Valletta.

      • Peter says:

        So I did, not only saw it being built but had visited the Shard last month and was very impressed. I am making this comparison first of all because those are two Enzo Piano’s works and secondly because they are two modern buildings in two old cities such as Valletta and London and I see nothing wrong by combining modern buildings which represent our era with old buildings.

      • James A. Tyrrell says:

        Yes Peter I agree it is a very impressive building but the fact is it doesn’t exactly stick out as London does not have the same protection as Valletta does. London is full of strange looking modern buildings. The GonziPN Government had to break their own planning laws in order to build that disgusting looking pigeon loft.

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