The Malta Independent 23 February 2024, Friday
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UNESCO endorses at special seminar for artists and experts

Friday, 2 February 2024, 09:14 Last update: about 21 days ago

Malta is currently hosting a significant number of local and international artists who are researching, preparing, and building their works of art to take part in the first edition of, which will open to the public on 13 March until the end of May 2024.

In total, 80 artists from 23 different countries will be taking part across 20 national and thematic pavilions. As the only biennale to be staged across multiple heritage sites, UNESCO sees as embodying the mission of the United Nations and has officially endorsed this global contemporary art festival.


In the build-up to the festival, UNESCO in collaboration with Heritage Malta hosted a one-day seminar for the artists who are currently in Malta finalising their works. The focus of the seminar was to discuss the relationships that should exist between the contemporary and the historical, with a special focus on the 20 heritage sites in which will be staged, many of which are among the most popular heritage sites in the country.

The seminar held at MUŻA, the National Museum of Art, took the form of a workshop during which discussions were held to better understand and recognise the role of contemporary art to broaden perspectives and provide innovative ways to deepen our understanding of our heritage. Other topics discussed include the best methods and means of interpreting Malta's colonial past through art, how curatorial perspectives and community involvement can be given more prominence, and the relationship between community and heritage.

Many artists joined the seminar online, along with those physically present at MUŻA, to listen to expert speakers from UNESCO’s International Centre for the Interpretation and Presentation of World Heritage Sites, officials from Heritage Malta, and members from the curatorial team. Artists in attendance also discussed their experiences and processes as part of this biennale. The works of these artists are being built at MCAST and the Valletta Design Cluster, while much of the research is being done at the National Library.

Expert speakers at the event included: Dr Sujeong Lee, Head of Research Office at UNESCO WHIPIC; Ms Haeree Shim, Head of Education and Networking Office at UNESCO WHIPIC; Valentina Buzzi, curator and Ph.D. researcher in Cultural Studies; Dr Kenneth Gambin, Chief Operations Manager at Heritage Malta; and Emma Mattei, curator. Sofia Baldi Pighi, Artistic Director of has the patronage of His Excellency the President of Malta and UNESCO. This international festival of contemporary art is being held for the first time in the country and is being considered as Malta’s main cultural festival for this year. The Guardian and a number of other newspapers and magazines listed Malta as a top destination throughout the, placing Malta prominently on the world’s cultural calendar. will be inaugurated by His Excellency the President of Malta Dr George Vella during a special ceremony that will take place in the Throne Room of the Grandmaster's Palace on Tuesday 12 March 2024. is a Heritage Malta initiative through MUŻA, the Malta National Community Art Museum, in partnership with Arts Council Malta. is also presented in cooperation with the Ministries for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade, National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government, and Gozo, as well as with Visit Malta, Malta Libraries, MCAST, Festivals Malta, Valletta Cultural Agency and Spazju Kreattiv. With the participation of Malta School of Art, AUM, ŻfinMalta, KorMalta, Teatru Manoel, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Franco La Cecla, IULM University, Milan, Department of Humanities Studies, Faculty of Arts and Tourism, Underwater Department Heritage Malta, Archaeological Department Heritage Malta and Maritime Museum Heritage Malta. is online:



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