At the end of the visit, President Vella congratulated those who came up with the idea, those who approved the idea and all the workers who brought this idea to life so that an abandoned building, which among other things served as the Old Abattoir, is restored, and turned into the Valletta Design Cluster. He said that Valletta deserves this, and it would be a pity to underestimate the architectural value of the capital city.
The President remarked that many buildings would have been lost had it not been for restoration and conservation works, and referred to the ongoing works at the Grandmaster’s Palace which are brining to light original work which has been forgotten over time due to additional interventions made over the years. President Vella added that the use of this building shows that we are adding value to the knights’ heritage. “The purpose of arts and culture start-ups is very much in line with spirit of Valletta,” said the President.
Referring to the public garden spread over the roof of this building, the President said that this is very important as the capital city lacks public gardens. The President appealed to take care of this building and use it for the purpose for which it was restored.
Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and the Local Government Owen Bonnici said that the Valletta Design Cluster is giving back to the people a space used by the community in the heart of the community. Minister Bonnici added that this place is giving life to start-ups, which he said are the beating heart of a European economy that dares to dream and is not afraid to act. He concluded by saying that “We want culture to continue to be a driving force of change for the better in our country”.
Valletta Cultural Agency Chairman Jason Micallef described the Valletta Design Cluster as an incubator of ideas, saying that it is regenerating the economic, cultural, and social aspects of Valletta. Mr Micallef said that he is very proud of the great success and example of the Valletta Design Cluster in terms of how to develop a sustainable building for tomorrow’s green cities.