Sunday, July 12, 2009

Malta Arts Festival and Censorship

It does not augur well for the annual Malta Arts Festival when the Arts Council decides to exclude an installation by artist Raphael Vella from a collective at 68 St Lucy Street.

It is not the first instance that the Maltese islands have been in the news for censorship. This year, the play “Stitching” was banned on moral grounds (Case is pending in court) and, egged on by Gozo Bishop Msgr. Mario Grech, police arrested a group of young men who dressed as Jesus during the Nadur carnival celebrations.

All is not doom and gloom for the 2009 Arts Festival. The Malta Jazz Festival has returned to its original form, taken away from the hands of purely commercial private interests. The annual Jazz Festival will hopefully become a fixed appointment on the calendar of many a true jazz enthusiasts, both local and foreign.

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