Malta’s capital city, Valletta, has now officially selected as European Capital of Culture 2018.
Alex Incorvaja, director UK & Ireland commented: “We are all proud citizens of Valletta and are delighted to have won the accolade of becoming one of Europe’s Capitals of Culture in 2018.
“This is an important moment for the artistic and cultural community and a milestone for our tourism industry, giving us the platform to showcase the beauty of our cultural heritage to the world.”
The selection panel chose Valletta after identifying a will, drive and ambition as well as the strongly needed esteem to make Valletta European capital of culture.
Bidding cities are assessed on criteria laid down by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers that states that the cities should prepare a cultural programme with a strong European dimension and foster the participation of citizens living in the city, its neighbourhood and the whole country.
The programme must also have a lasting impact and contribute to the long-term cultural and social development of the city.
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner responsible for culture said: “I congratulate Valletta on its successful bid.
“I am happy to see the enthusiasm generated in Malta for the European Capital of Culture title.
“I am confident that Valletta will develop an exciting programme of events with a strong European dimension and that the title can bring significant long-term cultural, economic and social benefits for the city and its surrounding area.
“I wish every success to Valletta.”
Valletta will be joining Athens, Paris, Liverpool, Glasgow, Florence, Prague and Madrid and others in the honour of becoming the European Capital of Culture.
It will be the smallest capital ever to enjoy this accolade, though Valletta’s bid will in practice embrace the whole of Malta and Gozo in its execution.
Valletta will be ‘sharing’ the title along with a city from The Netherlands, which still has to be selected.
The nomination will be officially validated in May 2013.