Shock as Xaghra Stone Circle villa given go-ahead by MEPA
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In a decision which has widely shocked conservationists and the archaeological community, the controversial development of a villa with a pool within the limits of Gozo’s Xaghra Stone Circle has been given the go-ahead. The site is situated in the middle of an archaeologically rich area, near to the Ggantija Temple and partly within the limits of the important Xaghra Circle archaeological site.
The environmental NGO Wirt Ghawdex said that it is very much preoccupied that notwithstanding MEPA’s condition that construction works on such a sensitive site are to be monitored by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, this would be very difficult to be enforced in actual practice.
The Superintendence has as yet no permanent representative in Gozo, and therefore it might be very difficult to supervise continuously such works, with the possibility that any archaeological finds will be completely destroyed.
Excavations carried out by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage and the Department of Archeology of the University of Malta in the area known as Ghar ix-Xih, just a few metres away from the site, have confirmed the presence of important archeological remains dating back to Classical times.