Valletta awarded European Capital of Culture in 2018

Valletta, along with all the localities of Malta and Gozo, was awarded the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture 2018 on 13th October 2012.  

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, said in his 2018 New Year address..

We will start 2018 by placing our country again at centre stage on a European and Global level, by means of our capital city, our gem, the city of Valletta, as the European Capital of Culture. The remarkable work to prepare for this event is one that makes us proud again.

The nomination presented by the Valletta Local Council, on behalf of all the localities of Malta and Gozo, was confirmed by an evaluation panel today, during a meeting in Valletta, where our country was awarded the title of European Capital of Culture 2018. This announcement was made during a press conference by Manfred Gaulhofer, Chairperson of the Evaluation Board. Mr. Gaulhofer said the board was convinced there was the necessary will, motivation and ambition in order to award the title to Valletta.

The Minister for Tourism, Environment and Culture, Mario de Marco, said this was very positive news for our cultural and creative sector as well as for our country. He said this confirmed that the Government was adopting the right policy for our cultural and creative sector, which would in turn lead not only to a cultural regeneration and a strengthened sector, but was also being recognised on a European level as the policy needed to dignify our historical heritage and our identity, whilst paving the way for the future of our country’s culture.

Minister de Marco said that in recent years the Government was and still is implementing policy based on the investment in cultural heritage and capital and infrastructural projects, on Maltese and Gozitan talent, as well as on strengthening our creative economy, which generates 4% of the GDP and employs around 8000 persons in around 3600 businesses.

European Commission representative, Ann Branch, said that the title of European Capital of Culture is a prestigious one, which was awarded to a city rich in history and with the potential to further stregthen its cultural and socio-economical sectors. She congratulated Malta for the work done and emphasised that our cultural and creative sector has a bright future ahead and thus encouraged Malta to keep on implementing its long-term plans for this sector.

The European Capital of Culture year begins with a unique celebration that’s worthy of the traditional Maltese Festa in the capital from the 14th to the 21st of January  island-wide festa!

The Valletta 2018 Cultural Program kicks off on the 20th of January 2018: a collection of over 140 projects, over 1000 international artists and 400 events taking place throughout the European Capital of Culture year with €10 million investment in the cultural sector.

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