On Thursday 25th March, Renzo Piano’s highly debated project 'City Gate' was approved by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority. The project itself includes the entrance to the city of Valletta, the building of Parliament House on Freedom Square and the ‘roofless theatre’ on the site of the former opera house. The build was approved at nine votes to one, with the Labour party representative voting in opposition. It is yet unknown what the brief or original instruction was that was given to Renzo Piano, but the Labour party representative is said to have felt that the government had been insensitive to the public in approving the project, as 128 artists had spoken against the proposed roofless theatre.
The City Gate project has been widely debated over the last few years, receiving 1,264 objection letters and claims that 85% of the population wanted the previous theatre as it was before, rather than Piano's roofless design. However, the recent conference of around 50 representatives of environmental NGOs eventually overruled all objections and approved the new design.
Click here to view a previous article on the City Gate project.