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Your Guide to Malta and Gozo - The Freedom Monument

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Freedom Monument

Freedom Square (Misraħ il-Ħelsien), Birgu

 

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The Freedom Monument is in front of the St Lawrence Church and was crated by Antonio Agius, a prolific and talented sculptor from Rabat; this commemorates the end of an era, when the British government closed down its military base in Malta on 31st March 1979.

Four bronze figures in what looks very much like a rock garden with palm trees and cactus plants in freedom square represent the final departure of the British forces from Malta: a British military man bids farewell to a Maltese Officer whilst trumpet blower heralds in a new chapter in the history of a nation and a worker, clad in a boiler suit hoists the Maltese flag.

During the ceremony held in this location on 31st March 1979, Prime Minister Dom Mintoff placed a large bouquet of flowers on the monument and set alight for the first time the Freedom Touch. Flowers were also placed here by other personalities including Gorg Agius, Secretary General of the General Workers Union and famously and notoriously the Libyan dictator Muammar Ghaddafi.

British sailor David Gilchrist lowered the Union Jack as Alfred Xuereb a worker of the dockyard raised the Maltese flag – symbol of a liberated Malta.