Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici recently presented prizes for two competitions organised in relation to the celebration of the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH), which was to encourage more people to discover and engage with cultural heritage, and to reinforce a sense of belonging.
Throughout the year, the Culture Directorate promoted the aim of this year dedicated to cultural heritage among schools. The slogan for the year was ‘Our heritage: where the past meets the future’.
Among the initiatives taken, two competitions were organised. One was aimed for secondary school students whereby they were encouraged to discover more and explore Malta and Gozo’s cultural heritage. Students were then encouraged to do a project and 10 schools submitted a project.
The first prize was won by St. Margaret College Verdala Secondary School, Cospicua, which submitted a project on ‘The Cultural Events in Malta throughout the Year’. The school will be given a voucher worth €500 in books. The runner-up was St. Michael’s College, Santa Venera which submitted a project ‘Il-Purċissjoni tal-Bambin’. The school will be given a voucher worth €200 in books. All other participating schools will be given a voucher worth €50 in books.
The second competition was aimed at photography enthusiasts and practitioners who were encouraged to take on the challenge of viewing and recording our local heritage through their cameras, creativity and perspective. 59 entries were registered. The first prize was won by Ms Shirley Calleja. She will be given a cheque of €500. The first runner-up is Mr George Abdilla and he will be given a cheque of €300. The second runner-up is Ms Emily Calleja and he will be given a cheque of €200.
These three winning photographs and nine others will feature in the 2019 official government calendar which is published by the Office of the Principal Permanent Secretary. The latter nine photographers are receiving a prize of €50 each.
Minister Bonnici commended this initiative by saying, “since it is important to preserve and pass on our cultural heritage to future generations. The message we wished to convey was that while we may think of heritage as being ‘from the past’ or static, it actually evolves through our engagement with it. What is more, our heritage has a big role to play in building the future of our country and Europe. That is in fact, one of the reasons why we wanted to reach out to young people in particular during this year dedicated to cultural heritage.”