[WATCH] V18 Foundation receives €1.5m grant from European Comission

Valletta 2018 Foundation takes €1.5 million grant from the European Commission following official confirmation of the foundation being awarded the Melina Mercouri prize

Photo: James Bianchi
Photo: James Bianchi
European Commission grants V18 Foundation €1.5m

The Valletta 2018 Foundation has received €1.5 million from the European Commission following official confirmation of the foundation being awarded the Melina Mercouri prize, V18 executive chairman Jason Micallef said on Wednesday.

Micallef, who was addressing a press conference in Valletta, said that a change in mentality is needed across society to ensure 2018 be a great success, since many Maltese tended to be cut off from the cultural calendar of events.

“We want an accessible culture for everyone,” he said. “We are pleased that the Commission was able to ascertain the progress we have made and the work we have undertaken in the lead-up to Valletta being the European Capital of Culture next year.”

Micallef said that his role transcended politics and he thanked the previous administration for laying the foundations for the work endorsed and enhanced by the government.

Opposition MP Karl Gouder agreed and said that celebrating Valletta as Europe’s cultural capital went way beyond party politics.

“We must be sure to plan ahead and determine what is to come after Valletta 2018,” he said.

Culture Minister Owen Bonnici said he was thrilled with the national unity surrounding Valletta 2018.

“This is a celebration of a strong certificate of competence, being given by the European Commission with regards to the work that has been done and is currently being done,” he said.

Bonnici insisted 2018 would bring society and culture together and admitted he was excited that Valletta residents were going to be part of this journey.

“Culture should not just be seen as a mere hobby by our youths, but also as a viable career path,” he said.

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.

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.

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