The Davos Declaration 2018 was the focus of an international conference about Baukultur held in Malta on October 18th, 2019

Muza, The Malta National Community Art Museum

On October 18th, 2019 Malta hosted the conference “A high-quality Baukultur for Europe. Examples from the Alpine and Mediterranean context”. The event, promoted by the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government in Malta and the Embassy of Switzerland to Italy, Malta and San Marino in collaboration with the Ministry for Education, Culture and University of the Republic of San Marino, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Justice and Culture of Liechtenstein and the Swiss Federal Office of Culture, and with the support of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs | Presence Switzerland, was organized to promote Baukultur (‘the culture of the built environment’) in Malta, San Marino, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

Muza, The Malta National Community Art Museum

The Malta conference is the natural continuation of the meeting held in Davos by the European Ministers for Culture immediately before the World Economic Forum, in January 2018. On that occasion, the Ministers adopted the “Davos Declaration 2018” to improve the environment built by man, for a high-quality Baukultur.

Baukultur and the Davos Declaration: a humanistic building culture

Ministers of Culture and Heads of Delegations of the signatories of the European Cultural Convention and of the observer states of the Council of Europe, as well as representatives from UNESCO, ICCROM, the Council of Europe and the European Commission and from the Architects’ Council of Europe, the European Council of Spatial Planners, ICOMOS International and Europa Nostra, meeting in Davos in January 2018, discussed and concluded that the built environment needs culture, architectural design, urban planning, psychology and sociology of space, knowledge of the territory.

To summarize the interaction of all the disciplines related to the built environment in just one word, the Declaration chose the German “Baukultur”. Baukultur is the only word that encompasses all the activities that have an impact on buildings, from planning to design, to the execution. Building heritage includes the existing building heritage, including cultural heritage, and contemporary designs. Therefore, all the disciplines related to the built environment are an expression of Baukultur.

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Left to right: Rita Adam, Augusto Michelotti, Owen Bonnici, Oliver Martin

The Malta conference

Hosted at MUZA – The Malta National Community Art Museum, the conference was coordinated by architect Arianna Callocchia, with the patronage of SIA – The Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects, BSA | FAS – The Federation of Swiss Architects, the Embassy of the Republic of San Marino to Italy, the University of the Republic of San Marino and the University of Liechtenstein.

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Muza, The Malta National Community Art Museum

Following a welcome speech by Owen Bonnici, Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government in Malta, Rita Adam, Ambassador, Embassy of Switzerland to Italy, Malta and San Marino, and Augusto Michelotti, Minister for Territory, Environment and Tourism, Republic of San Marino, the international conference opened with an introductory speech by Oliver Martin, Swiss Federal Office of Culture, about Davos Declaration. Architect Veronica Micallef B.E.& A.(Hons)(Melit), MSc (Edinburgh), MUŻA Project Manager, presented “MUŻA an example of Baukultur”.

Many other speeches followed during the day, concerning economy, urban planning, tourism, architecture. [Text Roberta Mutti]

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Left to right, Arianna Callocchia, Celina Martinez-Cañavate, Francesco Della Casa, Oliver Martin, Silvia Santi

Photographs of the Malta conference are by Daryl Cauchi, courtesy of Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government in Malta.