A considerable amount of burnt engine oil was thrown on Portes des Bombes some time during the night or the early morning. The oil was used to deface at least five parts of this historic edifice. Portes des Bombes was recently restored and in 2001 was scheduled as an Area of High landscape Value.
MEPA Chairman Mr. Andrew Calleja roundly condemned this action. "I think that all citizens with any sense of civic pride in their country feel outrage at the action of whoever it was who dumped this oil. Attacks on nature and heritage, even when reversible, frequently leave their mark." said Mr. Calleja
Portes des Bombes was originally the gate-way in the outer defences of Valletta and formed part of the Floriana fortifications. As a necessary breach in the fortification to ensure entry and exit, Portes des Bombes consisted of only one "porte" constructed during the reign of Grand Master Ramon Perellos (1697-1720) and inaugurated during the magistracy of his successor, Marc'Antonio Zondadari (1720-22). The second entrance was inaugurated in1868 as the threat of invasion had completely dissipated and access to the Capital City became a priority. In time the entire structure was completely cut off from the bastions to make the area more adaptable for the increasing volume of traffic. Portes des Bombes derives its name from two large stone bombshells mounted on solid pillars on each side of this gateway.