Xandru (Alexander) Farrugia is one of the artisans who was born and lived at Zejtun. A carver of statues in stone and wood who left a number of treasures not only in our churches all over the island, but also decorated our streets with a number of stone statues as street shrines, particularly at Zejtun.
Xandru was born on the 2nd February 1791, the son of Giuseppe Farrugia and Domenica nee’ Abela. He married Marianna in 1814 and amongst other children they had Giovanni who was the only son who followed his father’s art. It is thought that the Farrugia-s used to live in a house close to the Zejtun Police station in Triq il-Madonna tal-Bon Kunsill.
Xandru was a student of the renowned sculptor Mariano Gerada and was strongly influenced by his tutor.
Among the works carved by Xandru one should mention the titular processional statues of the Annunciation at Tarxien (1829), St. Mary at Mqabba (1837) and St. Paul at Safi (1844).
At Zejtun his masterpiece is the Good Friday statue of Jesus Scourged at the Pillar (1844) carved fully from one piece of wood. His are also Jesus Crowned with Thorns on the altar of St. Andrew and the Child Jesus on the Rosary altar.
Xandru passed away on the 4th December 1871.
Xandru Farrugia has been recently studied by Clifford Galea in his thesis “Baroque statuary in Malta with reference to Alessandro Farrugia 1781-1871” as part of his Masters in Baroque Studies at the University of Malta.