Floriana Triton Fountain
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How Tritons’ Fountain became a Malta landmark

Description

For more than six decades, three giant mermen have greeted visitors to Malta’s capital city.

The Tritons’ Fountain is a famous Maltese landmark, featuring on tourist postcards in the 1960s and 1970s, and acting as the perfect spot to meet friends before going to Valletta.

It was originally completed in 1959 but sustained damage along the years.

At one point, the fountain was used as a performance stage for live music concerts, and motorbikes were even driven up specially-built ramps to zoom around the platter.

Created by sculptor Vincent Apap and draughtsman Victor Anastasi, the fountain first started flowing in May 1959.

The design was the winner of a competition organised by Governor Sir Robert Laycock to fill an awkward gap at Kingsgate bus terminus.

The fountain took four years to complete and cost £80,000 in old money.

It features three bronze Tritons, two of them sitting, one kneeling, all holding up a platter and looking towards the capital city.

After years of neglect in the 1990s, the iconic fountain was brought back to life in 2018, just in time for Valletta’s reign as European Capital of Culture.

The budget for the restoration work soared to €4 million from a projected €2 million, due to the poor condition of the fountain’s basin and figures.

The damage was said to be so severe, the structures had to be shipped to Italy to be expertly restored at a specialist foundry.

After extensive restoration and with the bus terminus relocated away from the fountain, the Tritons now look magnificent by day and magical by night.

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