Heritage Malta throws €45,000 party to celebrate anniversary

Tista taqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti.

Malta’s national heritage agency – Heritage Malta spent over €45,000 on a party to celebrate its 20th anniversary in September, according to information given to parliament, but there was no data on which suppliers were used or how their services were procured.

The agency was established by the Cultural Heritage Act and is responsible for managing museums, sites and their collections and conservation throughout the country.

Taking place at Fort St Elmo, one of the sites under its supervision, Chairman Mario Cutajar and CEO Noel Zammit planned an evening of videos on the agency’s work over the years and a reception with live music.

According to information given in parliament to MP Julie Zahra, the bill for the three-hour party, paid for with public funds, amounted to more than €45,000.

The money was spent on catering, lighting and sound, and other hospitality services, and the venue itself was free because it was in the custody of Heritage Malta.

No details were given on the procurement arrangements for the event, but Heritage Malta officials told The Shift that suppliers were those known for being close to the Labour Party with a history of being selected for similar events.

As for the cost of individual services, some  €5,000 was spent on food, while at least €11,000 was spent on renting LED screens to project Cutajar’s speech.

Audiovisual material, music videos and filming for the occasion cost taxpayers another €11,000, € 6,000 was spent on renting lighting equipment and €3,000 on a sound system.

The party also included a DJ to keep guests entertained for €1,300.

Cutajar previously spent many years at the General Workers’ Union as deputy secretary general before resigning due to differences with the then-administration. He was then posted to Heritage Malta but sidelined after a management falling out. Cutajar later claimed he was discriminated against and won a court case, plus compensation.

When the Labour Party came to power in 2013, Cutajar was appointed head of the civil service and then took over the post of executive director at Heritage Malta.

After retiring from public service, shortly after Robert Abela became prime minister, he was appointed chairman of Heritage Malta, topping up his pension with a few extra thousand euros a year.

Under his watch, Heritage Malta has been embroiled in several controversies, including plans to turn the Natural History Museum courtyard in Mdina into an alfresco restaurant through a direct order. The plan was shelved only after significant public backlash.

But it was a similar story at Ta Bistra Catacombs, hired to be used by a ‘friendly’ restaurateur from Mosta.

Following various reports by The Shift about maladministration at the agency, Noel Zammit, the handpicked CEO of Cutajar, sent a memo to all staff, warning them of disciplinary action if they give out information to third parties.

                           

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16 Comments
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melvin cachia
melvin cachia
3 months ago

typical of Mario Cutajar , under his administration as PPS the Civil Service nosed dived to its lowest ebb and became divisive without any motivation.
He surronded himself with yes men and eluded himself as being God Sent to the Civil Service.
Mel Cachia

Allan Riddell
Allan Riddell
3 months ago

Wasn’t Owen invited ?

Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
3 months ago

Mario Cutajar is another PL crony who may need to be investigated on projects he was responsible for and on political appointments in the Civil Service and government agencies.
He also needs to be investigated on his position as Cabinet Secretary as to whether he recorded and safeguarded the cabinet minutes.
He is a notorious Union militant who started designing the HR roadmap for turning the public sector into a Labour Party Club even before 2013.

Joseph
Joseph
3 months ago

It is soooo easy to spend money and celebrate..especially when the money is not yours.
We should feel luck and thank these people for not competing with the films group who are even more lavish

Raphael Soler
Raphael Soler
3 months ago

Fiscal discipline lol.

J.Degabriele
J.Degabriele
3 months ago

Must have plenty of money to throw about!!

Raphael Soler
Raphael Soler
3 months ago

Fiscal discipline my foot.

C. Fenech
3 months ago

Next time try to throw a party with some peanuts and water to please these senseless people

Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
3 months ago

I wonder if Mario Cutajar mentioned anything in his speech regarding security of what heritage is about and avoiding instances like the finding of a lost artefact and finding it embellishing the pool area of an honourable minister who chairs his own heritage collection unit, and in the process constitutes himself as a security risk for our common heritage.
It would have been more of a heritage celebration had Mario Cutajar exhibited the recovery of this misappropriated artefact and assured the invitees that our heritage is well secured for us and future generations.
This is more of a ‘value for money’ priority for Malta Heritage rather than spending €45,000 on a booz night, for an association which has become another haemorage of millions of our taxes.

Mary Cutajar
Mary Cutajar
3 months ago

Customs House, Valletta, which is also a Heritage Building is next. They are soon evicting the Customs and Excise Department from there. I wonder who will be taking over such a prime site? Pity because the Department was housed there for centuries.

Judy
Judy
3 months ago
Reply to  Mary Cutajar

May be some restaurant for the boys in red.

Greed
Greed
3 months ago
Reply to  Mary Cutajar

Paul Attard maybe as he seems to get a lot of public land lately?

Allan Riddell
Allan Riddell
3 months ago

Was Owen Invited ?

Albert Mamo
Albert Mamo
3 months ago

MONEY NO PROBLEM, SPENT BY IDIOTS FOR LABOUR IDIOTS AND THE GAHANS PAYING THE BILL!!!

Judy
Judy
3 months ago
Reply to  Albert Mamo

Pity it is not only the big G footing their bills . Most probably we pay they get free tickets to whatever happens in Malta like concerts and what not. Shameful .

Judy
Judy
3 months ago

This is what their transparency looks like warning them not to give info or else there will be disciplinary action. So what are they hiding? What a shame

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