Valletta 1566 – Melita Renascens: One exhibition, two venues and a multitude of facets

Heritage Malta’s forthcoming major exhibition, in collaboration with Malta Libraries, commemorates the 450th anniversary since the laying of the first stone of the city of Valletta.

The story behind the city of Valletta is not only one of knights, buildings and historical happenings but a story of the people of Malta, Maltese society and the life of all those who in these last 450 years inhabited or walked the streets of the city – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – built during the baroque period.

VALLETTA 1566 exhibitionValletta 1566, Melita Renascens is a first in its nature especially due to the innovative set-up split between two venues, namely the National Library and the site of the former National War Museum at Fort St Elmo. “It is important to stress that these are not two complimentary stand-alone exhibitions but one story-line split between two venues. Having said this, a person visiting only one of the two venues will not get the full picture but on the other hand will get enough information with regard to one of the aspects of the vast history of Valletta. It’s one exhibition with two venues but each venue has a beginning and an end. Both venues share the same catalogue, design and general concept” stated Mr. Godwin Vella, Heritage Malta’s Head Curator.

The run-up to this intriguing and fascinating major exhibition has begun and the preparations are greatly underway for what is to be another hallmark in the series of high standard exhibitions organized by the national agency for the museums, conservation practice and cultural heritage. “Setting-up such exhibitions are always a big challenge, especially since all the work involved is carried out by the same staff that has to maintain all the other museums and sites, so the pressure increases a lot. Installing one ‘chapter’ at the National Library increases such pressure even more, because staff must be divided in two totally different areas. Innovation is always present but not in the same dosage. The size and structural limitations at both venues restrict us a bit, however the visitor is guaranteed that his experience will be a very fulfilling one, both academically and aesthetically” added Mr. Bonello.

The exhibition will open at the National Library and the Former National War Museum at lower Fort St. Elmo as from Saturday 23rd July 2016 and will remain open for a whole year.


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