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MALTATODAY 31 October 2021

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 31 OCTOBER 2021 8 NEWS Pre-publication offer €85 €65 9993 2592 I would like to order _______ copy/copies of The Darmanin Artists: Decorative Marble Production for the British Empire, at €65 each. Name & Surname Address Email Mobile Send the order form together with a cheque payable to Kite Group, 13, Triq il-Franġiskani, Ħamrun or order your copy online 3-7 November Available also at N e w T i t l e 325 x 240mm | 320 pgs | Hardback + Jacket The Darmanin family of artists were the most prolific marble-producing firm in nineteenth-century colonial Malta. Besides carrying out diverse decorative art commissions for the local market, they secured many others from distinguished patrons outside Maltese shores. Being masters of their art, the Darmanin marmisti thrived and remained relevant throughout the century. Their work garnered the admiration of the British royal family, colonial officials and also attracted international acclaim. This publication takes a look at the marble output of these local artists and reveals the compelling impact that the British Empire had on their artistic production. THE DARMANIN ARTISTS DECORATIVE MARBLE PRODUCTION FOR THE BRITISH EMPIRE by JESSICA MUSCAT JAMES DEBONO AX Holdings is proposing extensive excavation and construction works for a 309-space underground car park over 13,000sq.m of land where the Seashells and Sun- crest hotel lidos are located in Qawra. Birdlife Malta warned that large-scale excavation for the redevelopment of hotel lidos owned by AX Holdings, could have a detrimental impact on the neighbouring Salina Na- ture Park and called for more studies to minimise light and noise pollution, and the amount of construction waste. "The nature and scale of the development is such that this may cause detriment or nui- sance to residents, the adja- cent marine environment and is in proximity of Natura 2000 site and Special Area of Con- servation," the environmental NGO said in submissions on the project to the Planning Authority. The NGO is calling on the BirdLife wants study of impact of Xuereb lido on Salina Four-storey rise on Sacred Heart raises alarm Residents fear domino effect on entire row of townhouses if approved JAMES DEBONO AN application to demolish Casa Rohan and Casa Cot- toner, two British colonial style terraced houses in Sa- cred Heart Avenue in St Ju- lian's, has been submitted by Justin Zammit Tabona, who runs the Xara Palace bou- tique hotel in Mdina. The application foresees the retention of the townhouses' façades and the addition of four new overlying storeys. As proposed the development will include 17 apartments, pools at ground floor and at roof level, a roof garden and three parking levels for 36 cars. Residents fear the approval of this application will set in motion a 'domino effect' that would impact upon three other outstanding colonial houses lo- cated in the same street. The five townhouses are typ- ical of British colonial archi- tecture dating to the 1920s and 1930 and are character- ised by colonnaded porches, similar to a row of houses at Gwardamangia Hill in Pietà, which houses were scheduled as Grade 2. The back gardens of the houses include a number of mature trees and constitute a green enclave. Although rejected by the Planning Authority in 2012 due to the "excessive" nature of the development resulting in the "over-development of the site", this decision was twice overturned by an Appeals tri- bunal in 2012 and 2018. The law courts revoked the first decision of the Appeals tribunal, allowing the devel- opment subject to a number of conditions two years later. Subsequently, in May 2018 the PA's Environment and Planning Review Tribunal is- sued new guidelines for devel- opment on this site. These conditions included the retention of the existing façade and building alignment, a de- sign which respects the archi- tectural features of the existing façade and that the building depth for all levels, including the basement level, shall not extend more than 25 metres from the road alignment. The development was also limited to four floors and an underlying basement above road level. The five townhouses are typical of British colonial architecture dating to the 1920s and 1930 and are characterised by colonnaded porches, similar to a row of houses at Gwardamangia Hill in Pietà, which houses were scheduled as Grade 2

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