Dwejra Opportunity Fund announced by the Minister for Gozo
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The Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana has announced the setting up of the Dwejra Opportunity Fund.
Marking the first anniversary of the collapse of the Azure Window, the Government has published a legal notice for the Azure Opportunity Fund.
Dr Caruana explained that this fund, is a direct incentive from the government and an opportunity for crowd funding and donations from the private sector, the aim is that the government doubles the expenditure on investment and the restoration and upkeep of natural places in Gozo natural as well as cultural heritage.
The fund can also be used to finance research on natural sites and other historical places in Gozo such as Borg Gharib, Ghar Gerduf catacombs and the Roman Villa at Ramla.
According to the Legal Notice, company donations to this Fund will be eligible for the same tax benefits given under the Cultural Heritage Act.
It also says that the Government will undertake to pay into the Fund, at the end of each financial year, the equivalent amount that has been paid into it by individuals or companies
The Fund is to be administered by a Committee – the Dwejra Opportunity Fund Committee – which will be composed of not less than three and not more than five members, who, “in the opinion of the Minister for Gozo,” are individuals working in or dedicated to the field of cultural heritage in Gozo; a representative of the Ministry for Finance, appointed by the Minister for Finance, will also sit on the Committee.
The Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana said that although the Azure Window will now remain only in the memory of many including through thousands of photographs and even in films, the legacy of Dwejra will remain with us for the next generations and the natural heritage for which Gozo is renowned for should be enjoyed by everyone
Dr Caruana pointed out how the Ministry for Gozo, together with other partners is organising a day of activities at Dwejra including educational information and awareness of this important area.
Photograph: MGOZ/Terry Camilleri