The Iconic Statue of San Ġorġ tal-Ħaġar Moved to Il-Ħaġar Museum New artefact addition

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On Thursday 7 March 2024 the historic stone statue of San Ġorġ tal-Ħaġar was moved from its location in front of the sanctuary of Our Lady of Pompei on Dr Anton Tabone Street, Victoria, where it has stood since the 1920s, to the Museum, where it will now be on permanent display.  The relocation of the statue held all the necessary Planning Authority clearance, and the entire process was monitored by officials from the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage. A replica will hold its place and will feature prominently in the façade of the new building.  The Museum has engaged a high-powered team of experts in their respective fields to ensure the best outcome for this project. The widespread interest generated by this ongoing project evidences the value and appeal of this landmark statue, which is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, roadside statues in Gozo.

The statue was originally created for the corner of Saint George’s Street and Library Street in Victoria, but was replaced in 1925 with a larger one by Ġużeppi Agius.  An early 20th century aquarelle by Edward Caruana Dingli, now housed at MUŻA, the National Museum of Arts, in Valletta, depicts this landmark statue still in that corner.  The attribution of the toponym San Ġorġ tal-Ħaġar to the statue reflects transferal of the toponym of the church of Saint George (San Ġorġ ‘tal-Ħaġar’, therefore, ‘of the town’) to a statue that out of town led up to the church on the same street (it-triq ta’ San Ġorġ tal-Ħaġar).