Writer Oliver Friggieri is to be given a funeral by the state in recognition of his  'extraordinary contribution' to the country and its people, the government announced on Sunday.

Friggieri died on Saturday aged 73.   

The government said officials from the Office of the Prime Minister have had talks with the Friggieri family on the funeral arrangements.  

Details are to be announced shortly.

Tributes for Friggieri flooded in from all sections of society on Saturday, many praising him as a literary giant who instilled a strong love for the Maltese language. 

Archbishop Charles Scicluna was one of the first to pay a “heartfelt” tribute. Friggieri, he said, “taught us to love the Maltese language and be proud of our literary heritage.

Fellow author Alfred Sant, a former prime minister, who had known Friggieri since the mid-1960s said one could never be an adversary of Oliver Friggieri because one of his best qualities, apart from the arts, culture and education, was a profound sense of tolerance.”

Another former prime minister, Joseph Muscat, also praised Friggieri for his service and the way he influenced him in their discussions.  

The Nationalist Party described him as the conscience of the nation. 


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