Throughout this week, musical society Beland Band is organising a musical programme performed in Rome and the Vatican City, assisted by the Cultural Diplomacy Fund, which is managed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion.
Sixty musicians from the music society experienced a historic personal moment, as they were given the opportunity to perform Maltese music at St Peter’s Square, during an audience with Pope Francis on the 11th September 2019. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela and his spouse, along with the Vatican Ambassador to Malta Frank Zammit, were present and showed their support for these Maltese musicians.
Meanwhile, musical society Beland Band performed a high-quality music concert with a repertoire of Maltese music in the renowned Consevatorio Musica di Santa Cecilia, under the direction of Maestro Ray Sciberras. This performance took place on the 10th of September, 2019, and was entitled ‘Musica in Europa’. This project was conducted with the support of the Maltese embassy in Rome.
In his opening address, Minister Carmelo Abela recognised that culture is vital in order to improve diplomacy and cooperation between countries. He congratulated the 60 musicians for their talent and mentioned that, although they are not full-timers, they are very dedicated.
He noted that this is the second time in 2019 that Maltese musicians are hosting high quality music concerts in prestigious centres abroad with the assistance from the Cultural Diplomacy Fund under the Ministry responsible for Foreign Affairs.
During his visit to the Vatican City State, Minister Carmelo Abela met with the Secretary of State of the Vatican City Cardinal Pietro Paroli, the dean of the College of Cardinals Cardinal Angelo Sodan, and Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of San Paolo Fuori le Mura Cardinal James Michael Harvey. They discussed the strengthening of relations between Malta and the Vatican and other topics of mutual interest, including the issue of migration and instability in Libya. Minister Abela also met with Secretary for Relations with States within the Holy See’s Secretariat of State Mons. Paul Richard Gallagher, and Under Secretary for Relations with States Mgr. Antoine Camilleri.
Minister Abela had a cultural visit to the studio of the Vatican Mosaic, where he met with several restorers working on the creation and restoration of papal mosaic masterpieces. He also visited the Vatican Museums, where he was shown an old map showing Malta at the time of the great siege. The said map was painted in 1579, fourteen years after the siege, and is now displayed at the gallery of maps.
During the visit the Minister was accompanied by Malta’s Ambassador to Rome Vanessa Frazier and the Malta’s Ambassador to the Holy See Frank Zammit.