Yesterday evening, H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta officially inaugurated an exhibition entitled “The Majlis: Cultures in Dialogue” at the Grandmaster’s Palace, in Valletta – a cross-cultural exhibition which is creating a space of hospitality, “which is evident in the use of the traditional Arabic ‘place of gathering’ at the heart of this exhibition.”
The President said that the Maltese Islands have always provided a space where different cultures and peoples have gathered together, in a spirit of dialogue and connection, for centuries, adding that, through the selection of artworks and artefacts, which have been included in this exhibition, “we are invited to deepen these connections, in particular by focusing on the incredible diversity of Islamic culture and civilisation in the Gulf, and beyond.”
“I believe that it is essential for all of us to continue promoting dialogue between different faith communities, in the Mediterranea and beyond.”
President Coleiro Preca stated that creating such opportunities for connection and friendship, among the diverse cultural communities and faith traditions in the Maltese Islands, has always been an essential part of her work, as President of Malta.
Quoting research which states that in the next thirty years, more people will turn to various religions and faith traditions, the President emphasised the importance of creating mutual beneficial and respectful relationships among all faith traditions.
“I believe that Malta has a special role to play, as a bridge between cultures and continents. Malta is a geo-strategic hub in the heart of the Mediterranean, with a commitment to be a strong voice for peace and dialogue,” The President said.
President Coleiro Preca stated that supporting cultural diplomacy initiatives, such as the exhibition, is essential, as through the world of art, of creativity, and of technology, opportunities for every member of humanity to come together, share, and learn from one another, can be built.
“I augur that this exhibition will nurture a spirit of respectful dialogue, and profound reflection, encouraging us to see that we have so much in common, no matter who were are, where we come from, or our respective beliefs,” The President concluded.
Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici was also present, and said that this exhibition is an opportune way to highlight the importance of culture. “Culture is an ideal way to bridge diverse countries as it is through it that we learn about other communities’ traditions and customs. Through culture diplomacy we can bring at the forefront different types and forms of art so that they are appreciated and enjoyed by different communities.” Minister Bonnici stated that he hopes that there will be more opportunities of this kind, which continue to foster inter-cultural dialogue.