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Graffiti types

Graffiti vary in form, distribution and function, and different types of graffiti can be found around the Maltese Islands. Types can be categorised according to what is being depicted, and it has been noted that the typology varies according to the historical period the graffiti belong to. The vast majority of graffiti discovered are ship graffiti belonging to the Knight’s period, others include:


A person is depicted in the action of kicking a ball (Strait Street Valletta).


A graffito of a flamingo adjacent to a ship graffito at the National Library.


Hand with a date ‘1864’ etched (Cittadella, Gozo)

Apotropaic Symbols

Hexafoil (National Library, Valletta).


A fortress is depicted on the outerwall of a chapel (Tal-Mirakli, Ħal-Lija).


The date ‘1676’ is inscribed (Kunċizzjoni Mmakulata chapel, Żebbuġ).

Modes of Transport

A graffito of a modern car (Private House, Qrendi)

Musical Instruments

Image and text required

Names or Initials

Initials of a Royal Navy sailor and an anchor depicted on a wall in Mediterranean Street, Valletta.

Numbers or Text

Encircled numbers: 33, 94, 78, 11 and 5 (National Library, Valletta).


A defaced graffito of an insignia and an accompanying date ‘1978’ (Wied il-Qliegħa chapel, Mosta).

Religious Iconography

Christ’s crucifixion scene depicted on the walls of the Old Parish Church, Birkirkara.