Fact-check Malta: Siġġiewi mayor’s edited photo removes overgrown weeds and cracks


Residents of the village of Siġġiewi were left perplexed by a photo posted by mayor Dominic Grech on Thursday 11 April to his Facebook page, showing a beaming Grech standing on one of the town’s residential roads.

“Defending what we’ve built. Thank you for your positive response,” Grech wrote in his post.

But residents of Triq id-Difa, the road where the photo was taken, may have struggled to recognise the spot, with the overgrown weeds growing in the broken pavement’s cracks having been edited out of the photo and replaced with a smooth and pristine surface.

Exposed drainage pipes, weeds and cracks in the pavement

Times of Malta visited the site on the morning of Friday 12 April to verify the state of the pavement. It turned out to be a far cry from the spotless condition depicted in the mayor’s post.

In reality, an exposed drainage pipe protrudes from the pavement just to Grech’s left. A series of gaps in the wall behind him are home to weeds, some of which are also growing in the crevices and prominent cracks along the pavement.

Compare the photo posted by Grech (top) with the same spot when visited by Times of Malta on Friday (bottom).


The edited photo posted by Dominic Grech.
A photo taken from the identical spot on Friday 12 April. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Meanwhile, litter and debris trapped by the weeds flutter in the breeze, as passers-by make their way along the pavement.

One of the houses right behind Grech also appears to be home to abandoned appliances and electronic devices, all stored behind a rusty gate with overgrown weeds at its feet.

Rusting appliances stored behind a rusty gate in the patio behind Grech. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

‘No comment’: Grech

When contacted, Grech refused to explain whether he had edited the image himself, simply saying that the photo was posted to his Facebook page so it was nobody’s business but his own.

Screenshots sent to Times of Malta suggest that Grech may have initially posted an unedited version of the photo. This is no longer visible on his Facebook page.

A screenshot sent to Times of Malta appearing to show an earlier version of the post.

Grech has been a member of the Siġġiewi local council since 2015, taking up the role of mayor in 2020. He is believed to be running for re-election this June.

He is also the private secretary at the planning ministry and formerly the chair of Fondazzjoni IDEAT, the Labour party’s think-tank.


Times of Malta visited the stretch of pavement on which Dominic Grech stands in the photo to find that it is cracked and overrun by weeds and litter.

These have been edited out of the picture, along with several gaps in the wall behind him, and replaced with a pristine and smooth surface.

This claim is therefore false, as the evidence clearly refutes the claim.

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Environment, Fact Check, Politics, Society

Author(s): Neville Borg

Originally published here.