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V18 Foundation clinches Melina Mercouri prize and €1 million grant

The prize, named after the Greek actress Melina Mercouri, was awarded in recognition of the work carried out by Valletta 2018 to highlight the richness and cultural diversity of Valletta.

26 March 2017, 9:00am
Melilna Mercouri was the inspiration behind the launch of the European capital initiative in 1983
Melilna Mercouri was the inspiration behind the launch of the European capital initiative in 1983
Malta’s capital city has won the Valletta 2018 Foundation a €1 million cash grant after clinching the Melina Mercouri prize, this newspaper has learnt.

The purpose of the Melina Mercouri International Prize (UNESCO-Greece) is to reward outstanding examples of action to safeguard and enhance the world's major cultural landscapes.

The prize was awarded in recognition of the work carried out by Valletta 2018 to highlight the richness and cultural diversity of Valletta.

Valletta 2018 executive chairman Jason Micallef would not confirm or deny news of the prize. “It would be very good news indeed, and hopefully well deserved,” Micallef said.

It is named after the Greek actress Melina Mercouri, who later went on to become a Greek minister of culture in the Greek parliament. She was the inspiration behind the launch of the European capital initiative in 1983.

The decision was taken by the European Capitals of Culture panel in Brussels as part of its final assessment of the preparations and progress of the Valetta 2018 Foundations towards Valletta being the European Capital of Culture in 2018.

The panel commended Valletta for the preparation, the ongoing economic and social regenerations and its strong cultural programme.

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