Heritage Malta is marking this year’s European Heritage Days – which take place in the 50 countries party to the European Cultural Convention – with a programme of exciting events between the 1st and the 3rd of October.
There will be guided tours and discussions, special openings of closed sites, workshops at UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and an open day at Heritage Malta’s conservation labs – all at a minimal fee or free of charge. This year’s shared theme is the celebration and promotion of inclusivity, which fits perfectly with Heritage Malta’s own mission of accessibility.
On Friday 1st October, Heritage Malta with the collaboration of the Mġarr Local Council is organising an event for senior citizens at Ta’ Ħaġrat, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Participants will be given a guided tour of the site, with a choice either at 08:30 or at 09:00, followed by a discussion with the site’s curator at the Local Council premises. The talk will focus on daily life in the Neolithic period, and the community’s involvement in the excavation of the site. Participation is free but pre-booking at the Mġarr Local Council is required.
On Saturday 2nd October, Heritage Malta is inviting the public to visit two unique sites which are normally closed for conservation purposes – St Augustine’s Catacombs and Abbatija tad-Dejr, both in Rabat. Abounding in exquisite examples of rock-cut tombs, both these sites offer a mine of information on the Punic-Roman period and some of the earliest Christian communities on our islands. Tickets at a reduced price of €3, giving joint access to both sites, will be available at the sites’ entrance on the day. Heritage Malta members enter for free. Opening hours are from 10:00 to 16:30.
On the same day, but on a different island, another interesting event will be taking place. Children and teenagers between the ages of 8 and 14 years are invited to visit the Ġgantija Megalithic Temples for the workshop entitled ‘Pigment and Patterns: Artistic Creativity in Prehistory’, to explore the site with a difference. Participants will first be guided through this world-renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site, then led to the Children’s Area in the site’s Interpretation Centre, where local artist Victor Agius will explain further on prehistoric art and also offer a hands-on art session. Participants can choose whether to take part in the first session, focusing on canvas painting, or the second session, focusing on 3D art using clay. Admission is free, however reservation at any of HM’s museums & sites, or by sending an email on email@example.com or calling 22954300, is required.
On Sunday 3rd October, Heritage Malta will be opening the doors of its conservation laboratories in Bighi, Kalkara, to the general public. The open day will provide a perfect outing where families can spend quality time together while gaining understanding of the importance of restoration and conservation. Visitors will have the opportunity to come up close to prestigious national artefacts and learn about the measures being taken to keep them conserved for future generations. Opening hours are from 10:00 to 15:00. Admission is free.
All attendees must wear a face mask and respect social distancing measures.
The European Heritage Days in Malta are coordinated by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage (SCH).