I want to congratulate and express my joy at hearing that the Valletta Cultural Agency has been created. This is a very significant move on the part of a European capital in a country that boasts some of the richest and most diverse cultural heritage in the world.
Culture in all its forms is the expression of every human being’s unique identity. It reflects and shapes our beliefs, our values, and our aspirations, thereby defining a people’s identity and the society in which they live. It defines so much of what makes us who we are, as well as serving to differentiate us from others. Culture is the driving force behind tourism and has been so since antiquity. Most people want to discover, be challenged by and be influenced by disparate cultures, its different tastes, its languages, its different music, its different architecture of past and present, its approach to the visual arts and all of the myriad differences that make each culture unique and special. Culture is what defines and makes human existence so fascinating, so rich, so fulfilling and so worth living.
This wonderful development in Valletta comes at a crucial moment. At a time when many countries have seen their governments’ investment in culture decline, it is a testament to the forward looking approach in Malta to create the Valletta Cultural Agency. Cultural development is one of the most important investments that can be made at a time where cultural expression and appreciation is one of the key forces to foster and unite people, to reinforce human exchange and understanding, to promote the appreciation of what makes us unique and different and to inspire and bring hope at a time when it is so seriously needed throughout the world.
I want to wish every success to the Valletta Cultural Agency and rest assured that it will contribute tremendously to keeping the Maltese capital at the forefront of being a prime cultural destination globally.