Beauty in Ruins

When the Jerma Palace Hotel was sold off in 2007, the rumour was that it was to be torn down and rebuilt as residential residences.  Sadly, thirteen years on, the building still stands as an empty hulk stripped of anything of value and left to crumble amid legal wrangling and apparent difficulties in finding investors willing to take on the project.  What once attracted tourists to the Southern tip of the island as well as providing entertainment (and jobs) for locals has been allowed to deteriorate into a health hazard.

Yet beauty can emerge regardless of surroundings.  And for a group of street artists – all of whom were brought to Malta as part of the Malta Street Art Festival – this decrepit building provided the ideal canvas for their art.

Due to its visibility from the outside, a huge image of Gollum holding a melting Euro rather than his precious ring, has achieved a certain degree of notoriety.   Venture into the building, however, and you will find even more instances of this particular art form that blends in with its surroundings.  Not only are these – for me, at least – beautiful images but a fine and extreme display of creativity that leverages whatever canvas their surroundings provide.

A Word of Warning: if you plan to visit the Jerma Palace to see these works of art for yourself, be extremely careful.  This place is filled with broken glass, ripped up iron works and various other safety hazards.


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