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Published on : Thursday, November 28, 2013
The plans to mark Valletta as the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2018 are such as to ensure that the capital remains ‘lively, bubbly and vibrant’ well beyond that date, Parliamentary Secretary Jose’ Herrera told MPs yesterday.
He said the plans so far would cost in the region of €50 million and several other projects will be completed just in time for the eents, including the restoration of Fort St Elmo and its lighthouse.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Culture and Local Government said other localities would be involved in the events as far as possible. For example, a competition would be held for the most beautiful monument in the localities, and the winning monument would later be restored.
As for Valletta, he said that Strait Street would be turned into a cluster of commercial and cultural activities. He said he was looking forward to more relaxed permits, including closing times.
The old power station at the Valletta Waterfront would house a Museum of Contemporary Art.
Two locations had been identified for an architectural centre, but Dr Herrera would not divulge them in view of the sensitive negotiations still under way.
By January 2016 the old abattoir would have been restored for reuse as a Creative Industrial Centre. The Creative Industrial Council would be housed in a restructured St James Centre for Creativity.
The old Valletta market, with its 1816 ceiling that had been the major iron structure of the period, would be remodelled to accommodate traditional shops, including the ones still operating there. Dr Herrera said it would not be turned into another museum.
Carnival would return to Valletta City Gate, and the Summer Carnival, which had been a great success, would be entrenched. A warehouse to house a Carnival village had already been identified.
The Malta Band Clubs Association had offered to stage a Grand March in Valletta, involving all the bands on the two islands.
Certain residential areas of Valletta were of immense historical value and Dr Herrera said he hoped some houses could be opened to the public, if the owners volunteers to do so.
Asked by group chairman Deo Debattista (PL) if there were any steps in mind to regulate boathouses, the Parliamentary Secretary said this “hot potato” was not in the bid book for V18. Although abuse could never be condoned, governments in the past had been “rather lax” on illegal property, and the long time this had been going on did not help matters.
Source:- Malta Tourism Authority