Valletta’s UNESCO world heritage status secured

Valletta’s UNESCO world heritage status is safe, parliamentary secretary for culture Jose Herrera says.

After months of uncertainty over Valletta's UNESCO world heritage status, granted in 1980, the status has been secured, parliamentary secretary for culture Jose Herrera said.

In a press conference held at the Fortress Builders centre, Herrewra explained that the government has "resolved all standing issues with UNESCO which mainly stemmed from a lack of communication."

Last year, UNESCO had expressed concerns over the impact of Renzo Piano's  City Gate project on the outstanding universal value of Valletta, however Herrera explained that over the last seven months, government provided all the necessary documentation and the UN agency dropped its reservations over the project.

Moreover, UNESCO had doubts over the impact of the flea market which is to be transferred to Ordinance Street in Valletta, however a report concluded that "both the location and the situation of individual stalls is totally reversible so that there will be no obvious damage to the outstanding universal value of the Valletta world heritage site."

Other issues concerning the gunner's quarters, the saluting battery and the extension of the law courts have also been resolved. Doubts over the Hagret temples in Mgarr have also been cleared.

Malta has three sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, with the Megalithic Temples and the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum joining Valletta on the list.

However, Malta's UNESCO Ambassador Mons Joe Vella Gauci explained, "after being on the defensive, its now time to be proactive."

Stressing that since taking office, Malta and UNESCO have engaged a positive "spirit of dialogue," Vella Gauci said that Malta is now wielding tangible results thanks to his team's "relentless" efforts.

"Having Malta as the European capital of culture in 2018 would have been useless had Valletta's world heritage status been removed," he said.

Vella Gauci added that following the introduction of a mandatory management plan for UNESCO sites in 2005, Malta had finally submitted a plan which will be submitted in the coming weeks.

Furthermore, management plans for Mdina and Citadella being drawn up following the appointment of site managers for Valletta and the other two sites.

Mdina, the Citadella in Gozo and the catacombs are among seven candidates on Malta's UNESCO tentative list, which if approved would also enjoy a world heritage status.

Malta is also in the process of nominating the Maltese Feast and the Maltese language to the list of UNESCO's Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible World Heritage.

Il Cantilena,the oldest known literary text in the Maltese language, is also set to be nominated for the UNESCO's International Memory of the World registry. The poem, attributed to Pietru Caxaro, dates from the 15th century.

Bravu Mons.Tghamel unur lill Ghawdex. Koss bniedem bravu bhal dan, ma kienx tajjeb biex imexxi parocca ta 3000 persuna u kien kapaci jikkonvinci lill UNESCO bil problemi li writna u jgiba zewg ghala Ghawdxija. Proset.