An underground site featuring unique animal and Paleochristian art is “at risk” of being damaged if new plans for two tunnels and flyover in Gudja are given the green light.
“Warning: heritage at risk,” the subterranean heritage page Malta Underground said. “The Ħal Resqun (Paleochristian) Catacombs, with their unique decorative carvings, currently still preserved underneath a Gudja roundabout, are at risk from two proposed road tunnels and a flyover.”
The new infrastructure would be built around the roundabout linking L-Avjazzjoni Avenue and Ħal Far Road, near the Luqa airport, and is expected to shorten commute times between Birżebbuġa, Ħal Far, the airport and the Freeport.
The catacombs, which are believed to be 1,600 years old, feature detailed decorations of animals and humans, and could shed light on early Christians in Malta and how they viewed the world, life, and death.
Infrastructure Malta have denied any risk involved, saying the plans will “not impact” the catacombs.
“In fact, the proposed tunnel will not cut through the area where they are located,” a spokesperson told the Times of Malta.
IM said that they were consulting the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage to ensure their work, if given the go ahead, would not impact the catacombs, and that they would also be utilising a “ground-penetrating radar study” to locate any other archaeological artefacts.