MEP Francis Zammit Dimech has criticised how culture and heritage are being ‘politicised’ and marred by political interference in Malta.
The MEP was pointing to cronyism in Maltese culture sector and the NAO’s finding that the Financial Statement from the Arts Council had not been finalised and instead found to have issued €2.1 million in direct orders.
Dimech was speaking at the launch of the European Agenda for Culture, an initiative to foster cultural values and customs in European Member States.
He praised the inclusion of his proposals saying that they will help to improve the Maltese cultural sector. He also explained that the initiative also recognised that culture was a form of ‘soft power’ that should not be misused.
‘Culture should empower citizens and not used to denigrate activists, silence people, prohibit right to protest or demean murdered journalists”, referring to the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
He continued to pour scorn on the government, saying that the Maltese government, ‘and officials are using culture and heritage as an excuse to denigrate and attempt to erase the memory of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Specifically tributes at her memorial in Valletta have been repeatedly torn down on the pretext that the monument and the surrounding area were being restored. This is the antithesis of what culture is all about.’, he said.