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Malta/ 5.2 Legislation on culture  

Cultural legislation in Malta dates back to the mid 1920s, when the colonial government issued a number of ordinances, passed by the Antiquities Protection Act of 1925, and other pieces of legislation to establish the National Library, the National Archives and local libraries. Regulations are contained in:

  • the Ordinance on Public Libraries (1937) as expressed in Chapter 92 of the Laws of Malta, amended several times between 1955 and 1981;
  • Act IV of 1990, which regulates the National Archives;
  • the Environment Protection Act (2001) re-enforced efforts to protect and conserve, interalia, landscapes (including historic centres) through the establishment of an Authority to advise the Ministry responsible for culture;
  • the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts Act (2001) introduced a structure that replaced the Department of Culture (created in 1987) to administer and fund creative events, including an annual arts festival. Subsidiary legislation under the act:
  1. S.L. 444.01 Cinema and Stage Age-Classification Regulations
  2. S.L. 444.02  Creativity Trust Order
  3. S.L. 444.03 Age-Classification of Cinematography Films (Fees) Regulations
  • Chapter 421, Crafts Council Act and S.L 421.01 expresses measures to safeguard and develop the interests of artisans (e.g. crafts, trades, skills and industries) producing works reflecting national identity;
  • in the media sector, the Broadcasting Act of 1991 assured the right for plurality and the democratic right for information, besides guaranteeing the need for qualitative, educational programming;
  • the Protection of the Maltese Language Act (2003); and
  • Specific legislation for arts education includes S.L 327.436 Statute for the School of Performing Arts within the University of Malta and S.L. 327.437 Malta Academy for the Arts Order;
  • the Cultural Heritage Act (2002).

Chapter published: 12-08-2015

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