Standing sentinel on Valletta’s fortified bastions, overlooking Malta’s Grand Harbour. The Siege Bell Memorial was inaugurated in 1992 by Queen Elizabeth II and the President of Malta. It is the design of Michael Sandle, a British sculptor whose work includes public sculptures tackling the theme of war. “His work voices criticisms of what Sandle describes as “the heroic decadence” of capitalism, in particular, its appetite for global conflict”. (Royal Academy, no date)

It commemorates a defining point in the island’s history, the second siege of Malta. During the Second World War 1940-1943, Malta bore the brunt of a sustained aerial bombardment by Axis forces that had a devastating effect on the besieged island. In its defence, the civilian and military population and personnel on the shipping convoys attempting to resupply the islands incurred high casualties.

The Siege Bell Memorial is based on the Neo-classic with a columned cupola belfry, and a bronze catafalque overhanging the bastions; symbolising the sea burial of the corpse of the unknown soldier, and is a reminder of the people who fought and died in defence of Malta. 

The distinctive shape of the Memorial lends itself to the creation of an ICM (Intentional Camera Movement), while the second picture is a stitched image featuring the sculpture of the Unknown Soldier.

Royal Academy (no date) Michael Sandle RA (b.1936). Available at:

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