THE MINISTRY FOR THE ECONOMY AND INDUSTRY
“Committed that by next year, the Crafts Village in Ta’ Qali will be completed, full of life and generating economic activity” – Minister for the Economy and Industry Silvio Schembri
Eight winners in the 11th Edition of ‘Premju Ġieħ l-Artiġjanat 2020’
“We want the Crafts Village of Ta’ Qali to serve as a reference point – from which to grow creative thinking, from where artisanship is passed on to another generation, from where school children are introduced to creative and entrepreneurial thinking, from where you, who is following this, can go and buy that special gift, and above all, from where to continue to shape that which is Maltese.”
This was said by Minister for the Economy and Industry Silvio Schembri during the 11th edition of ‘Ġieħ L-Artiġjanat’, during which Minister Schembri expressed the government’s commitment towards this long-awaited project by artisans, which is now at an advanced stage.
“It is such events that shine a light on Maltese talent. I want to meet with you, I want to hear your thoughts, I want to see your talent. This is an opportunity to discuss, share our thoughts and boost where required. You are the appropriate example and give true meaning to the term ‘Made in Malta’ – where one sets to work in order to realise one’s vision and for it to become a tangible reality,” said Minister Schembri.
Minister Schembri noted that the artisan sector has created an interesting space that needs to be further explored.
“During the months of the pandemic, many people took advantage of the time they had on their hands and worked on a project or product that they had envisioned for a long time. A younger generation is becoming more proactive, so much so that many have created impressive products, where they married what is traditionally Maltese to the modern. Today, it has become highly prestigious to be gifted something made by Maltese artisans. This is also because, today, these are more digitally visible. We therefore encourage you to first and foremost develop your commercial product, be creative, and invest in digital platforms on which you will be finding us, the government, as a shoulder to guide you,” said Minister Schembri.
Permanent Secretary within the Ministry Nancy Caruana noted that the 2020 edition ‘Premju Ġieħ l-Artiġjanat Malti’ was a success. The enthusiasm of the applicants when presenting their product or initiative was instrumental to this. The government in turn acknowledges this enthusiasm. Rather, it encourages the continuation of this initiative by providing substantial funding so that entities are in a position to implement it. Therefore, the handsome sum of forty-eight thousand euro (€48,000) is being distributed. In this regard, in addition to recognition for work in the crafts sector, initiatives to promote crafts by local councils, businesses, individuals or organisations, and seven categories of handicraft products (textiles, food, glass and ceramic work, precious metal and jewellery, modelling, painting and sculpture, products from non-precious materials and the most innovative product by a group of artisans) are also awarded.
Director General of the Department of Commerce Godwin Warr said that, as a country, we should be grateful that local artisans with their talents, work and sacrifices, have been, and still are, through their creativity and passion, creating a living cultural heritage that reminds us of the past and simultaneously encourages us to look forward to the future of this sector, which we are committed to preserving and helping to flourish. ‘Premju Ġieħ l-Artiġjanat Malti 2020’, which was this year organised by the Department of Commerce, together with the ‘Fondazzjoni tal-Artiġjanat Malti’ is an example of this commitment. A competition for which, this year, we are awarding 14 artisans, as well as recognising work in the sector, both recent as well as work which was carried out over the years.
This activity was addressed by Sonny Gatt, who has been within the artesian sector for 40 years. “I’ve been working in this sector for 40 years and it is occasions such as these that recognise our work. My craftsmanship is now being passed on to my daughter, who is developing it further and adopting it to current times. This is something which is our own, it is Maltese, and activities such as these that recognise our work help to keep on sustaining us,” said Mr Gatt.
This year has seen the participation of 51 applicants.
Source: Office of the Prime Minister