Friday 3rd July 2020
Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government José Herrera together with the Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi visited the MICAS project in Floriana, whereby restoration and construction works are currently underway. MICAS will see the transformation of iconic fortifications into contemporary art galleries. The project will be completed by 2022 and will cost around €24m, of which €7.6m are EU funds.
Minister Herrera explained that the government had taken a decision in order to restore this abandoned site, and thus an Agency was set up to manage this project which will eventually, once completed, will manage the galleries. He said that 85% of the restoration work has been completed from a total of 1000 meters of bastions. Minister Herrera stated that this project is indispensable for the creative arts, for the preservation of our heritage, for tourism and for the nation itself.
This project will also include outdoor sculpture gardens, spaces for research, spaces for artists in residence programmes, other cultural uses, as well as commercial aspects. It will therefore offer a long-awaited platform for the Maltese artistic community.
The Parliamentary Secretary Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi said that this project, which is co-financed through European funds, is creating a space for contemporary art in Malta. He said that this started from the restoration of the fortification which was abandoned, so that the structure was preserved, however, the works have progressed towards the creation of a cultural platform which promoted contemporary art. The Parliamentary Secretary concluded by saying that, apart from the regeneration of this historical Maltese place, this project will strengthen the infrastructure of the Maltese culture.
MICAS Chairperson Phyllis Muscat explained that work on the site began in 2016, and that the galleries are expected to be completed in 2022. She spoke about how this spectacular site will offer space to Maltese and international artists to exhibit their art. “MICAS is the first space dedicated purely to contemporary art in Malta. I am pleased that through this project we will give contemporary life to historic buildings.”