cultural territorial networks

museum heritage



Museum heritage in Malta is quite rich owing to the long history that the islands have. Heritage Malta museums are striving to make their collection as accessible to the public as much as possible, whilst edutaining in an informal manner.

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2.1 The national Museum of Archaeology


The National Museum of Archaeology currently hosts the Neolithic Period permanent display in a chronological manner, from the first settlers on the islands (5200BC) up to the end of the Temple Period (ca 2500 BC).

Work is currently underway to open five halls on the upper floor to host the Bronze Age, Phoenician, Punic, Roman and Byzantine period permanent exhibition. When this work is ready, the National Museum of Archaeology will be serving as a catalyst to all the Archaeological sites in Malta and Gozo and it will also act as an information hub to promote these sites. Accessibility, both physical and intellectual, is being addressed since it will appeal to a larger audience and hence promote more cultural awareness and improve visitor attendance. The new display will also have interactive elements in order to attract a wider audience and an activity room with hands on activities for the children.

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2.2 Malta Maritime Museum


The Malta Maritime Museum seeks to illustrate Malta’s Maritime history with a specific focus n the Mediterranean context. Spread over two floors the museum represents artefacts thematically according to different ephocs. Ancient shipping is represented through a collection of authentic Roman lead stock anchors as well as various watercolours of other ancient ships. The period of the Order of St John is represented amongst others by an important collection of authentic period model which include a late 18th century mezza galera together with a full galley model. Navigating the seas was always a challenge for seafaring nations and the Maritime Museum houses a very important collection of navigation instruments which includes a complete Nocturnal dated 1574.

The Malta Maritime Museum is housed in the former Naval Bakery on the Vittoriosa Marina. The building, designed by architect William Scamp, was erected between 1842 and 1845 and supplied the Royal Navy’s Mediterranean Fleet stationed in Malta with its daily requirement of bread and biscuits.

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2.3 The Inquisitor’s Palace


The Inquisitor’s Palace, sited in the heart of Vittoriosa, is one of the very few surviving examples of a style of palace that would have been found all over Europe and South America in the early modern period. Mgr Pietro Dusina arrived in Malta in 1574 as the first general inquisitor and apostolic delegate of the Maltese Islands. The Grand Master offered him the unused palace as an official residence. Almost all successive inquisitors sought to transform the palace into a decent mansion. They all shared the same cultural values of clerical baroque Roman society, and by the mid-18th century they had managed successfully to transform the building into a typical Roman palace.

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