The monument shows Prof. de Marco with his right hand ready for the handshake and his autobiography Politics of Persuasion in his left hand. The monument was cast in bronze by artists Aaron Camilleri Cauchi and his father, Alfred.
A recording of Prof. de Marco reading out a piece of his biography was aired during the unveiling ceremony.
Prof. de Marco’s daughter Gianella was the first to speak before the unveiling. She read out a piece her father had read on 4 April 1999: “Malta’s independence, a dream come true. Tomorrow is ours as well, but that of youths most of all. We hope today’s dreams will become the future of our youths.”
Prof de Marco’s other daughter Fiorella Camilleri read out an excerpt of her father’s last speech in parliament on 29 March 1999:
‘The best thing the people ever gave me is when they nominated me to represent them in parliament. We are in politics to serve the people not ourselves. When one looks back and looks at all past governments, and forgets about the political pique, one can note that each and every government did what it could for the best of the people.
“The fact Malta has gone forward is a result of Malta’s political class and I get extremely hurt when I hear someone criticising our political class.
“Nobody has a right to say politics is something dirty but it is on the contrary, something of great honour.
“The most honourable of things is to say you are an MP.”
Retired Judge Vanni Bonello said that those who deserve to have monuments will have monuments but honour is more important. He pointed out that he never came across a monument dedicated to a person who served as a judge. “This in no way means you should set up a monument in my memory,” he joked.
He described Prof. de Marco as being a bridge maker throughout his life. He said that Guże Flores, a criminologist, and Prof. De Marco had played a big role in Malta to update its criminal law to reflect the day’s necessities. “Guido was both heavily praised and criticised since he was obsessed with persuasion,” he said.
“It was through his perseverance that a consensus had been reached so that a repeat of the 1981 perverse election result did not take place again. If Guido wasn’t here, our lives would have been poorer,” he said.Nationalist MP Dr Mario de Marco, Guido de Marco’s son, recalled that when his father came to choose the title of his autobiography, it was one of his hardest decisions. He said that initially his father wanted to choose Living a Maltese dream as its title since he felt that the population had been generous with him.
Dr de Marco said that his father’s mother was a Sicilian immigrant who kept pressuring her son to further his studies.
He said Eddie Fenech Adami was of great influence to his father’s political life and entrusted him in top roles. Turning to his mother Violet, Dr de Marco said that she strongly supported his dad and was a pillar in his life.
Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat said that it is of great pleasure for me to be here today to honour the memory of Prof. de Marco. The fact that we are all here together goes to show that this country is maturing. He said that Prof. de Marco acknowledged where change was needed, including continuity if need be.
“He worked with everyone, even with those he did not see eye to eye with,” Dr Muscat said.
“For Prof. de Marco, it is the people who were the pillars of democracy,” he said.
Dr Muscat said that Prof. de Marco can be remembered for having signed Malta’s application with the EU when he was then foreign affairs minister. He will be remembered as of the greatest statesmen Malta ever had.
De Marco biography
His political career began with his election to the House of Representatives in 1966. He was returned to Parliament at every general election he contested up to 1998. He was appointed secretary general of the Nationalist Party in 1972 and became the party’s deputy leader in 1977.
He was elected President of the 45th session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1990 and chairman of the Commonwealth Foundation in 2004.
A renowned criminal lawyer, he defended some of the landmark cases in Malta during the 1980s. His death in 2010 shocked the nation and prompted three days of national mourning followed by a state funeral.