Times of Malta, 10th September 2008 –
When Din l-Art Ħelwa celebrated the 40th anniversary of its foundation in 2005 it decided to mark the occasion by launching two annual award schemes: one for architectural heritage and another for cultural heritage journalism.
Both award schemes have attracted some excellent entries. Suffice to say that 2005 saw the Valletta Waterfront Project take the top architectural heritage award (which then went on to win the Europa Nostra Silver Medal); the Old Treasury Building at the Cottonera waterfront won in 2006 and in 2007 the top award went to Palazzo Falson in Mdina.
A number of diplomas were awarded to deserving runners-up who had also made significant contributions to architectural excellence in Malta.
The journalism awards attracted some powerful articles by journalists, writing both in English and Maltese, who had made a significant contribution to the better appreciation and understanding of the built heritage of the Maltese islands. The importance of the press and some excellent individual journalists who have won the Din l-Art Ħelwa Silver Medal over the last three years include George Cini and Lino Bugeja of The Times and The Sunday Times and Julia Farrugia of Illum.
Entries for both schemes for the 2008 awards must reach Din l-Art Ħelwa by September 30.
The scope of both the Architectural Heritage Award and the Cultural Heritage Journalism Award, or, rather, the Built and Natural Heritage Journalism Award, as it is now called, have been broadened.
The Built and Natural Heritage Journalism Award, as its title indicates, now include journalists who write about Malta’s natural heritage, covering the appreciation of the natural environment and landscapes, including open spaces, maritime heritage, flora and fauna and natural resources as well as the built architectural heritage. The Tumas Fenech Foundation for Education in Journalism is again sponsoring the journalism award.
In the case of the Architectural Heritage Award, entries can be submitted under three separate categories: major regeneration projects (such as the waterfront projects), the rehabilitation and re-use of buildings (such as St James’ Cavalier) and restoration and conservation projects (such as restoration of chapels or towers).
Entries will be judged against their peers within each category with the judging panel having to adjudicate between the three winners in each category to select the project that is the most outstanding overall in its contribution to the built Maltese cultural heritage.