Valletta 2018 chairman Jason Micallef will be given another top position within the Culture Ministry following the end of Valletta’s stint as European Capital of Culture.
Mr Micallef, whose position was mired in controversy following his comments about the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, will be made chair of the Valletta Cultural Agency, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici confirmed. The agency will be set up after Valletta 2018 ends on December 15.
"I think that Jason Micallef… and all those who took part in this wonderful adventure, delivered," Dr Bonnici said, adding that Mr Micallef’s Valletta 2018 leadership was successful.
The Valletta 2018 chair faced several calls for his resignation after he wrote a post mocking the assassinated journalists’ last words, writing "St Patrick's Day in Malta. The situation is desperate. There is happy people everywhere you look".
Asked about whether someone who had been so divisive should be given such a high position, Dr Bonnici said people had to "look at all the good work that had been done".
"I don’t know any artists who said he did not want to work with them or listen to them," he said.
When it was pointed out that hundreds of local artists had signed a petition calling for his resignation, Dr Bonnici said it was "nice" that some of these people worked and continued to work with Valletta 2018.
The Valletta 2018 chair had previously dismissed the criticism, saying it was "blown out of proportion".
Mr Micallef said that at the end of the day, people were interested in the 400 events in Valletta and not in all the controversy surrounding him.
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