Valletta’s reign as European culture capital ends

Valletta’s reign as European Capital of Culture for 2018 came to an end on Saturday night.

More than 400 cultural events have taken place in the city since the beginning of January.

A special closing ceremony and concert was held on Saturday night from 6.30pm in St George’s Square in Valletta.

Valletta 2018 chairman Jason Micallef revealed that he was impressed by ‘the huge and positive impact’ that culture can have on people’s lives.

Mr Micallef told 89.7 Bay: ‘In 2018 we successfully executed the largest cultural programme that our country has ever seen.

‘More than 400 cultural activities benefited thousands of people, including families, children, elderly people, people with special needs, members of various communities, artists and many others.

‘During the Valletta 2018 official closing ceremony we will be celebrating this success, by re-living several projects which had a positive impact on many people, and which will surely remain an integral part of Valletta 2018’s legacy.

‘The Valletta 2018 official closing will not just be the end of this special year but will also mark the start of another year of work to ensure that Valletta continues to grow in the cultural, economic and social sectors’.

The concert on Saturday featured Maltese music group Tribali, The Brass House Unit and singer Ozzy Lino.

The Big Dancers, Moveo Dance Company and the Valletta 2018 Chorus also performed on the main stage.

While the show started at 6.30pm, the official closing event kicked off at 4pm with a fringe programme.

It featured a roundup of the year with performances and exhibitions in the streets of the historic Maltese capital.

Malta’s culture minister Owen Bonnici said: ‘The Valletta 2018 official closing ceremony will offer a feast of culture in the capital with performances by Maltese talent.

‘The public will have the opportunity to experience all that has made this year so special: art, music, dance, the sense of community and even the infrastructural wealth created.

‘Our new National Arts Museum, MUŻA, Valletta 2018’s flagship project, will be open free of charge on Saturday.

‘This year, culture in the capital and in our country was as prominent as ever thanks to the European Capital of Culture.’

Read more: Valletta 2018