The Malta Independent 15 August 2022, Monday

Roofing over the remains of the Royal Opera House ‘not the solution for artists’ – PN

Monday, 6 June 2022, 12:22 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Nationalist Party has said that the proposed roofing over of the remains of the Royal Opera House in Valletta is not the solution which artists need.

In a statement, signed by the PN’s arts and culture spokesperson Julie Zahra, the PN questioned the reason as to why it was decided that the theatre should be roofed over.

The statement comes after Culture Minister Owen Bonnici said that the government was in talks with Italian architect Renzo Piano – who designed the entrance into Valletta and the neighbouring Parliament building – on how to roof over the Royal Opera House, much of which was lost during the German bombardment of Malta in World War Two.

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“The only scope that roofing over the theatre will be to eliminate noise from the surroundings and to provide shelter from the elements, not to facilitate the different forms and representations of the arts in an environment which can provide the best facilities for the artists themselves,” the PN said.

The party questioned what happened to a plan to be a national concert hall in the country which would provide the necessary acoustics, stage, and backstage to be used for various artistic disciplines and which can also host exhibitions, conferences and other activities.

“The plan to roof over this theatre cannot be considered as a favour to the artistic community, because this is just going to be an exercise in futility,” the party said.

The PN appealed to the government to properly consult with all of those who form part of the artistic sector and open a serious discussion, even if foreign experts are needed, so that the country can seriously invest in quality, superior, modern, and manageable theatre.

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