Malta's famous natural arch, the Azure Window, has long been a hot spot for cliff jumping tourists and a location for fantasy films like Clash of the Titans and Game of Thrones. But now filmmakers will have to use CGI now if they want to shoot a scene there because the arch is completely gone.
The loss of the arch could mean a big hit to Malta's tourism industry but it didn't come as a surprise to authorities. Experts have been warning for years that the rock formation was in danger and was gradually being damaged by rough seas. A fine of €1500 ($2112) was put in place for anyone who walked across it. Joseph Muscat, the prime minister of Malta, tweeted on Wednesday, "Reports commissioned over the years indicated that this landmark would be hard hit by unavoidable natural corrosion." He announced, "That sad day arrived."
Look at this beautiful place as it was in its prime:
Now look at its new arch-less state in this appropriately gloomy image from yesterday:
Screenshot: Konrad Scicluna
Some might recall that the crew of Game of Thrones angered Malta's environmental authorities when they coated the fossil-rich site with a "sandlike substance". The elaborate act of set dressing resulted in "total elimination of the ecosystem," experts said. But that incident appears to have nothing to do with this week's collapse. The loss of the Azure Window is simply nature doing its thing.
Here's what it looked like in Clash of the Titans:
Screengrab: United Artists