After years of intensive preparatory work, the first of two arches was erected over the Tarxien Temples in a massive operation which involved several cranes and the expertise of professionals which included engineers, architects, archaeologists and specialised technicians.
These arches form part of the protective shelter being built over the Neolithic remains of this World Heritage Site.
The shelter, consisting of a metal frame with a specialised fabric stretched over it, will protect the temple remains from elements such as the sun and rain, effectively breaking the heating/cooling, wetting/drying cycles which are most harmful to the soft globigerina limestone. This will ensure long-term effective protection from the major causes of deterioration.
The works on the protective shelter are the last of a long list of activities on this particular site which include conservation-related studies, three-dimensional documentation, archaeological excavations as well as the building of a new and extended walkway which is fully accessible.
All of these works were carried out as part of the Archaeological Heritage Conservation Project, partly funded through European Regional development Funds (Cohesion Policy 2007-2013), which also included major works on conservation and visitor facilities at Ġgantija Temples and St Paul’s Catacombs.