The Malta Independent 21 April 2024, Sunday
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Government buys another three band clubs for €6 million

Tuesday, 27 February 2024, 18:25 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Culture Ministry has said that it has definitively concluded the purchase of the band clubs of three Musical Societies from their private owners, in deals worth a cumulative total of 6 million.

The band clubs in question are the Stella Levantina Musical Society of Attard, the headquarters of the Circolo San Giuseppe Filarmonika Sagra Familja of Kalkara, and the headquarters of the St Helen’s Duke of Connaught's Own Society of Birkirkara, through three separate contracts that were published on different days throughout the current year.

The ministry said that these three societies were at serious risk of eviction due to the legal situation related to the pre-1995 rent laws.

With these purchases, the total number of musical society headquarters acquired by the Ministry through the Malta Arts Council has now reached five, following the acquisition of the headquarters of the Antoine de Paule Musical Society of Raħal Ġdid and the headquarters of the Stella Maris Musical Society of Tas-Sliema.

Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government Owen Bonnici said that the Government intervened to save these musical societies with the aim that, through the purchase of their respective headquarters, the same properties could continue to be used as the main premises of the band clubs under a new title and with fair rent.

He stressed that the Government believes deeply in the value that these musical societies bring to Maltese festivities and is therefore acting to ensure that they continue to be enjoyed by their respective communities.

Minister Bonnici further noted that the decision taken by the Government to save the band clubs was also very important in light of the fact that the Maltese festa is now also recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.

The headquarters of the Stella Levantina Musical Society of Attard was acquired for €1,100,000, while the headquarters of the Circolo San Giuseppe Filarmonika Sagra Familja of Kalkara was acquired for €750,000. The headquarters of the St Helen’s Duke of Connaught's Own Society of Birkirkara was acquired for €4.5 million, which includes pre-liquidation and payment of legally recognized damages and other expenses, including legal fees.

Meanwhile, there are six other societies for which the Ministry, through the Malta Arts Council, has entered into agreements with the owners of their premises, and when these purchases are made, they will amount to a total investment of €16 million.

On his part, the Executive Chairperson of the Malta Arts Council, Albert Marshall, said, "These initiatives are part of the Council's work where we continue to strengthen our national heritage and the cultural, traditional, and folkloristic characteristics that are so dear to the hearts of the Maltese and Gozitans."

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