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Lathbury sports project unearths WWII fortifications

Viewing preps for the building New Sports Facilities 2017 ( Photo John Bugeja) 16-10-17 Minister Cortes visits Lathbury Barracks Parade ground where in the preparations for the building of the new sports facilities, the remains of various WWII guns and search light emplacements, tunnels, huts were discovered.

Preparations for a new sports facility at Lathbury Barracks have unearthed various World War II fortifications including heavy anti-aircraft gun positions, command posts, access tunnels and shelters.

The Minister for Heritage Dr John Cortes visited the area yesterday with members of the Heritage Trust.

“Due to its sometimes turbulent history, Gibraltar is a treasure trove of buried artefacts and structures from our past and it is important that whenever building works require any type of digging or ground disturbance that the Ministry for Heritage is consulted and involved at the earliest opportunity. This will allow for proper recording of our past,” Dr Cortes said.

“Development does not need to stop but we should not lose the opportunities that this offers.”

“Indeed, had this project not been undertaken by the Government it is likely that the structures would have remained buried and gone unnoticed well into the future,” he added.

Also on site were members of the Gibraltar Museum who are carrying out a watching brief and archaeological works, members of Fortress of Gibraltar Group, construction managers AKS and the principal contractor, GJBS.

Work started a month ago and since it started there has been a minimum of two team members from the museum onsite, recording, excavating and identifying items of interest and historical value.

“The close working relationship that has been demonstrated at this site between the Government, the contractor, the Gibraltar Museum and the Gibraltar Heritage Trust is a good way forward and one that we would wish to promote in dealing with development as a whole.”

Head of Cultural Heritage Department Sue Davies, who is in charge of the site on behalf of the museum agreed with Dr Cortes.

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