Wirt iż-Żejtun is dedicating this year to the sculptor Alessandro Farrugia, known as Mastru Xandru.
He was born in Żejtun on 2nd February 1791, son of Giuseppe and Domenica nee’ Abela. In 1814 he married Marianna, widow of Giuseppe Zahra. One of their children, Giovanni, born in 1819, followed his father’s talent. They lived in Mater Boni Consigli Street, in a house very close to the Żejtun Police Station.
Xandru was a student of the renowned sculptor, Mariano Girada and followed his style. Among Farrugia’s most important works one can mentioned the Annunciations at Tarxien (1829), St Mary at Mqabba (1837) and St Paul at Safi (1844).
At Żejtun his best work is undoubtedly the Good Friday statue of Jesus Scourged at the Pillar (il-Marbut).
Xandru passed away on 4th December 1871 and is buried at the crypt of the Oratory of the Blessed Sacrament.
In a few weeks time, Wirt iż-Żejtun will be issuing its third publication in the series “Għamlulna Ġieħ’ which is being dedicated to Xandru Farrugia and his son Giovanni.
Source: ABELA, J. The Parish of Żejtun through the ages. Midsea Books Ltd. 2006. p. 237.