Left to right (Opposition side): Dr Janice Chetcuti, Dr Therese Comodini Cachia (Spokesperson for Media, Culture and National Identity); Dr Adrian Delia (Leader of the Opposition); Dr Marthese Portelli (Spokesperson for Planning, Capital Projects and Property Market); Dr Jason Azzopardi (Spokesperson for the Environment).
The political class has a significant role in upholding the principles outlined in Our Legacy – Wirtna, a Declaration signed on the 18th April 2018 by 22 entities active in the field of cultural heritage. Following the meeting with Partit Demokratiku held in May, a second meeting took place on the 4th June 2018. Representatives of the Kamra tal-Periti, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar, The Archaeological Society Malta and the Malta Association of Professional Conservator-Restorers (MAPCo-Re) met with the Leader of the Opposition Dr Adrian Delia, who was accompanied by Dr Marthese Portelli, Dr Therese Comodini Cachia, Dr Jason Azzopardi and Dr Janice Chetcuti.
A number of issues were discussed including the dangers of over development and the lack of planning which has long-term consequences. Some of the main threats to our cultural heritage are the lack of awareness, the lack of a comprehensive inventory of the country’s assets, and the lack of documentation which is publicly accessible. In addition, while recording individual assets is important, it is also crucial to valorise our streetscapes, for example through schemes which encourage the formation of ‘street condominia’ which could also benefit from grants to maintain the quality of the locality.political class
The signatories of Our Legacy – Wirtna also stressed the need for urgent reforms in the Cultural Heritage Act and the strengthening of the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, both in terms of legislative reforms and in terms of capacity building. They also put forward the intent to create an inter-party forum, which would serve as a platform for dialogue on policies that affect the sector.
Dr Adrian Delia confirmed that Partit Nazzjonalista will participate in this forum, and also expressed the party’s full support of the statements made in the Declaration. In fact, during the Parliamentary debate on the budget estimates for the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage held on the 5th June 2018, various Members of the Opposition made reference to the Declaration and to the proposals made by the signatories. This is indeed encouraging and augurs well for the future of our cultural heritage.
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