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NO: 0998    DOI - 02.07.2007

On July 28 1967 H.E. Amintore Fanfani, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Italian Government and the Hon Giorgio Borg Olivier, Prime Minister of Malta and Minister for Foreign Affairs signed a cultural agreement at the Ministry of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs at the Old Chancellery of the Order of St John’s in Valletta.

This agreement was the basis of 40 years of collaboration in the educational and cultural fields between Malta and Italy.

To commemorate this event the Italian Police State Band will on the 11th July, give a concert at the Mediterranean Conference Centre. A new bilateral cultural agreement is being discussed.

The Minister for Tourism and Culture the Hon Francis Zammit Dimech and the Italian Ambassador to Malta H.E. Dott Paolo Andrea Trabalza, at a press conference at the MTAC Boardroom, launched the forthcoming concert of the Banda della Polizia di Stato.

The Minister for Tourism and Culture said that in the 43 years since Independence, Malta’s relations with Italy were always on a sound footing reflecting the proximity of our two countries and the cultural, artistic and historic ties that evolved during the centuries.

“Italy was one of the first nations to acknowledge our Independence and to open an embassy in Malta. This was followed by concrete initiatives amongst them the Cultural Agreement which was signed by two political heavyweights: Professor Amintore Fanfani, the Italian Foreign Minister, who was also Prime Minister of Italy at the time of ‘the Italian economic miracle’ and Giorgio Borg Olivier, Prime Minister of Malta and Minister for Foreign Affairs who was the architect of Malta’s Independence and of the ‘economic miracle’ that followed,” said Minister Zammit Dimech.

The Minister for Tourism and Culture said that political, economical and cultural relations between our two counties are at their best, driven by good neighbourly relations and by our sharing of common values and the same European identity.

Minister Zammit Dimech said that following our accession to the European Union our relations are now on an ever stronger footing, and initiatives in the cultural field have strengthened and multiplied.

The Minister for Tourism and Culture said that 40 years of cultural relations between the two countries have given Maltese artists, archeologists, restorers, sportsmen and students the chance to proceed with their studies in Italy. He said that he was confident that a new bilateral cultural agreement will be signed shortly for the benefit of the people of both countries.

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