For the past couple of days, Queen Victoria’s monument in Republic Square Valletta has been the talk of the town.
Statues of slave-traders and colonialists are being removed around the world in response to the discrimination they brought about during their rule. Some believe we should share the same sentiment and remove the statue.
Various polls have taken over our socials, asking us whether we want the statue to be removed.
While there were those few who felt that our monuments needed a bit of a spruce up and a touch of modernisation (specifically inaugurating the hard work Charmaine Gauci has put into keeping Malta safe during Covid-19 by erecting a statue in her honour), many felt that Queen Victoria’s statue should remain untouched.
The argument is simple. If we were to remove any memory of monuments that represent our colonial past, we will end up with very little to represent our history. Whether we care to admit it or not, for the better part of its years, Malta has been colonised. Our culture, our history and heritage are more or less all a result of the countries and people who have ruled us, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without that rich history to back it up.
“If we had to remove all that represents our history under all those who ruled us we would end up with nothing more than the horrendous towers of concrete and streets and streets of characterless buildings. A lifeless rock with no soul,” one user comments on a Facebook post.
“What are we expected to do? remove all buildings built by the Order Of The Knights? Completely demolish Belt Valletta? Remove the George Cross from our National Flag? Officially remove English as our second language because that came about while we were under the British rule and it reminds us of our colonised days? We can’t remove Queen Victoria’s Monument! It’s an integral part of our history,””
“That would be an insult to our history and our heritage,” another person commented.
“We are Maltese and we have a proud heritage which involved many Nations and Empires. They are mostly gone; we are still here. We have nothing to fear from past history. Yes, keep our heritage and history strong. Let us look forward but let’s not make the mistake of forgetting our past,” one user concludes.
What do you think about all of this?