The Malta Independent 17 May 2022, Tuesday

Malta Society of Arts awards its Gold Medal

Thursday, 6 January 2022, 15:35 Last update: about 5 months ago

The prestigious Gold Medal for 2021 was awarded to TV personality Mariella Pisani Bencini for her longstanding contributions to the arts, in a ceremony attended by H. E. George Vella, President of Malta.

Malta's oldest arts institution, the Malta Society of Arts (MSA), has awarded its 2021 Gold Medal to well-known TV personality Mariella Pisani Bencini for her longstanding contribution to the arts in Malta. The ceremony took place at the MSA's seat Palazzo de La Salle in Valletta, in the presence of one of the Society's patrons H. E. George Vella, President of Malta.

First launched in 1896, the Committee of the MSA awards a gold medal to those whose work has influenced and left an indelible mark on the arts sector. This year, the Gold Medal was awarded to Pisani Bencini, known mostly for her presence on local TV stations spanning a continuous period of 34 years. Her arts and culture programme Meander has effectively witnessed and visually documented the evolvement of the local arts and culture scene over a span of 27 years and continues to be popular and highly appreciated to this day.


Opening the ceremony, MSA president Arch. Adrian Mamo remarked that Pisani Bencini shares the Society's ideals through her TV programme. She gave a platform for artists to promote their work, which echoes the role of the Malta Society of Arts. Following this, author Ġorġ Peresso recounted how he introduced Pisani Bencini to the world of media and encouraged her to produce and present Meander. The evening continued with an interview by Marika Azzopardi, during which Pisani Bencini outlined the highlights that marked her 34-year-long career, while thanking everyone who helped her along the way.

In the final speech of the evening, President Vella congratulated Pisani Bencini on her extensive contribution as well as her career in the media, where for many years she has been "the face of the arts and culture sector". He also augured that "the work of Mrs Pisani Bencini will be an example for the much-needed work among our people who continue to educate themselves in the appreciation of art and creativity".

The evening was interspersed with musical interludes by Mark Spiteri Lucas on piano and vocals.

Pisani Bencini's career includes researching, scriptwriting, producing and presenting Meander for the 20 years during which it aired on TVM and subsequently throughout the seven years it has aired on Net TV to date. The programme has received several key awards, including the Broadcasting Authority Award assigned to cultural TV programmes. Pisani Bencini is also the prolific author of varied radio scripts and screenplays and has published two novels. Her first, entitled Tliet Nisa u Mara in 2004, won the Premju Nazzjonali tal-Ktieb in 2005, while her second novel, this time in English with the title We Belong, was published in 2018.

Pisani Bencini is honoured to join the long list of past recipients of the Gold Medal award, which includes such illustrious names as Sir Temi Zammit (1904), Robert Caruana Dingli (1916), Emvin Cremona (1963), Oreste Chircop (1997), Richard England (1984), Joseph Calleja (2007), Harry Alden (2013) and Carmine Lauri (2015), to name but a few.


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