6.000 inhabitants per square kilometer - Valletta, the smallest European Capital of Culture since ever.

But: The Capital of Culture concept of Valletta 2018 includes all Maltese islands, with the capital serving as a hub.

"We now have the opportunity to show that Malta is more than sun, beach, political intrigues and history", says Sean Borg of the Capital of Culture Foundation.

The focus of the Capital of Culture program is on promoting the European idea, strengthening international relationships, sustainable social, economic and cultural development in Malta, and actively involving the population.

About 1,000 local and international artists, curators, artist collectives, but also writers, designers and filmmakers have developed the approximately 140 art and cultural projects and 400 events.

This happens in exchange or in collaboration with artists from other Capitals of Culture such as Leeuwarden 2018 (Netherlands), Pafos 2017 (Cyprus), Wroclaw 2016 (Poland) and Eleusis 2021 (Greece), but also from Japan.
The focus in the Capital of Culture year is on combining historical and traditional with contemporary as well as highlighting the peculiarities of Malta: for example, the Maltese opera "Anna Refugjati" by the composer Mario Sammut, which addresses the refugee drama in the Mediterranean.

In addition to the cultural program, a large number of architectural and infrastructure projects have been developed and, most of them, already realised:
The star architect Renzo Piano has replaced the old City Gate with two cool concrete blocks. Also the new parliament building goes back to a design by the Italian architect as well as the reconstruction of the opera destroyed in the Second World War into an open-air theatre.

Other projects for the renewal and preservation of some of Valletta's architectural treasures include the roofed market (Suq I-Antik tal-Belt) or the former abattoir, now home of the Valletta Design Cluster.

As in many European Capitals of Culture, this dynamic is a fundamental stone for the future direction of the city.

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