Update 1 – 12:30pm – Happy April Fool’s Day
The Azure Window, which unfortunately collapsed and sustained irreparable damage nearly a month ago on the 7th March will possibly be rebuilt by a private company called Firstap-Ril Investments PLC. The engineers commissioned by the company to draw up a report stated that they can rebuild the collapsed arch to match the original one as closely as possible.
The company added that it will recoup it’s investment and pay for maintenance thanks to a small billboard placed on the side of the new artificial arch and will sell advertising space on it, as hundreds of tourists are expected to start visiting the site on a daily basis once again and be exposed to the advertising on it’s side, therefore the private company would be able to recoup it’s investment.
The company will be applying for permits with the relevant authorities to rebuild the arch and whilst the exact plans are being kept under wraps for now, a spokesman for the company stated that the arch will be rebuilt entirely in a factory in Sicily specialised in such work and later shipped directly to Gozo and installed. This process is expected to take at least a year.
The engineers will be using fibreglass material to remodel the collapsed arch which will make it structurally robust and will withstand the natural elements which are expected to continuously batter the new arch. The company stated that the choice of material was the most important decision the engineers had to take.
Fiberglass is a strong lightweight material which is versatile and can be shaped in the way required to get the new artificial arch to look as much as possible to the original. The arch itself was 28 meters high above sea level.
The artificial arch will then be repainted in brownish yellow to pale grey tones to mimic the original limestone material which comprised the remains of the marine organism globigerinid foraminifera.
The original Azure Window has been featured in films, such as Clash of the Titans (1981) at the 104th minute and The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) at the 13th minute. It can also be seen in the television miniseries The Odyssey (1997), and HBO’s recent TV series Game of Thrones.
The original formation was created by the collapse of a sea cave, probably during the 19th century. It consisted of a pillar of rock rising from the sea and joined to the cliff by a horizontal slab. Following decades of natural erosion that caused parts of the arch to fall into the sea, the slab and pillar collapsed completely in stormy weather on 8 March 2017.