The Malta Independent 29 February 2020, Saturday

Historical school in Valletta to be restored and renovated

Tuesday, 21 January 2020, 10:01 Last update: about 2 months ago

Restoration works started at the Mikiel Anton Vassalli College (MAVC), Malta School of Art, in Valletta with an investment of around €5 million. Works include the restoration of the façade of this historic building, as well as works in the interior to include full refurbishment. The works will culminate with an avant-garde School of Art with the appropriate workshops, studios and hardware which are needed in order to meet the demands of good quality teaching and learning of the creative and fine arts. Besides, the building will incorporate an elevator to make this school even more accessible.

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The works require more than the usual two-months summer period, when general maintenance works in schools usually take place. "Works have to start now so that next scholastic year will greet teachers with an engaging working environment that they truly deserve. Learners will start or continue their studies in a learning environment which stimulates their intellectual curiosity and originality, critical thinking and novelty through the accredited courses offered at this school," said Victor Galea, MAV College principal. "In the meantime, the current courses will be temporarily accommodated at the Malta Visual and Performing Arts School in Hamrun and commence again at the newly refurbished school in Valletta by October of this year."

The MAVC Malta School of Art was founded in the early 20th century at 106, Old Bakery Street, Valletta. Since its establishment, it exerted a significant influence on the progress and artistic research of visual arts in Malta. It also acted as one of the prime sources of artistic education, offering formal training and scholarships to artists to further their education abroad. Among the most renowned artists who had their formal education at the Malta School of Art are Antoine Camilleri, Victor Diacono, Harry Alden, Vincent Apap, Willie Apap, Esprit Barthet, Anton Inglott and Carmelo Mangion.

The MAVC aims at providing high-quality education based on new methodology and research, providing a challenging setting for students to learn and discover their full potential. The school offers various art courses leading to qualifications from Level 1 (basic) to Level 5 (Diploma). Currently, 600 learners from age six onwards registered at the MAVC Malta School of Art.

"Thanks to the Foundation for Tomorrow Schools (FTS) for coordinating and implementing all the works to ensure that by the next scholastic year, Malta will have a truly Specialized School for Art Education fully equipped to host art programmes. Research shows that Visual Art education has the potential to help improve one's memory and concentration skills, to develop decision-making and critical thinking skills, to enhance communication and listening skills, but also to encourage focus and discipline among others," in other words Galea concluded that "Any investment in the arts is an investment for a better society to live in."


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