Malta's first ever participation in the Edinburgh Arts Festival

The Minister of Education, the Hon. Louis Galea, left Malta yesterday on his way to Edinburgh, to preside over Malta's first-ever participation in the Edinburgh Arts Festival.

The Minister will be the main speaker during a symposium which will be held at the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh on the subject "The Art and Science of Peace and the Prevention of Conflict". Mr Colin Sanderson, Director of the Association for Art, Science, Engineering and Technology of Midlothian, and Mr Richard Muscat, Malta's Ambassador to Ireland, will also deliver speeches during the symposium, which will be chaired by Professor Neil MacCormick, Member of the European Parliament and Professor of Public Law at the University of Edinburgh.

The Minister of Education will also be taking part in a second symposium which will take place at Matthew Gallery. The symposium, which will be chaired by Professor Richard Demarco, will be inspired by the model of Valletta by Professor Richard England, who will himself intervene.

Participation by Maltese artists in the Edinburgh Arts Festival includes John Schranz's and Frank Camilleri's "Descartes", an innovative one-man performance. The work was created to coincide with the fourth centenary from the birth of Ren'? Descartes and has been performed in a number of Italian towns over the last three years. Last May, the play was performed at the Dionysia Festival in Tartu, Estonia.

Another Maltese production which has found its way into the Edinburgh Arts Festival, where it will be having its debut, is "Ilma" by the Teatru Marta Kwitt. This work, which will be staged in Malta for the first time next month, is already contracted to be performed in Ljubljana and Aarhus next year. "Ilma" is split in three monologues which deal with the evolution of man, the tragedy of people lost at sea, and spiritual renewal as a result of self-sacrifice. "Ilma" is directed by Immanuel Mifsud.

The Edinburgh Arts Festival will also feature Maltese soprano Lydia Caruana, who will be interpreting works by Bach, Handel and Mozart at St Giles Cathedral.

While in Scotland, Minister Galea will be meeting the Hon. Rhona Brankin, Minister of Education, Arts and Culture of the Scottish Parliament. He will also be discussing further initiatives with the organisers of the Edinburgh Festival which will serve as a valid contribution towards Malta's cultural activities.

During his stay in the Scottish capital, the Minister is accompanied by Mr Richard Muscat, Malta's Ambassador to Ireland and by Mr Albert Callus, the Minister's Private Secretary.​