The Malta Entertainment and Arts Industry Association (MEIA) has called for the “depoliticisation of public cultural organisations” in reaction to the three suspensions that have taken place within the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) and the Manuel Theater.
“For years, and under different administrations, cultural leadership in Malta’s public sector has been severely affected by political interference and allegiance,” the MEIA said in a statement.
At DFO, a senior official was slapped with a restraining order and suspended prison sentence after he admitted to sexually harassing a young musician, while last Saturday the orchestra’s CEO, Sigmund Mifsud, was charged with tampering with evidence in the same case. .
On Wednesday, Manoel Theater CEO Massimo Zammit was suspended and placed on half pay after an external, independent entity was appointed to look into various allegations by the Manoel Theater Board of Directors.
The allegations were unrelated to those that rocked the orchestra.
“We call on the government and the opposition to refrain from turning this crisis into a political battleground, but commit to improving professional practices in all areas and ensuring that the leadership of our national institutions reflects the highest professional standards demanded and deserved by the industry,” said MEIA.
The PN has already called for the resignation of Culture Minister Owen Bonnici in connection with the scandals.
The MEIA said that for the system of governance to best serve Malta’s cultural future, all public cultural organizations must be based on talent, experience and skills independent of political influence.