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​HMML’S Malta Study Center part of BOZAR exhibition in Brussels 

February 21, 2017
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Malta has been a crossroads of civilization for centuries. A new international exhibition at the BOZAR Centre of Fine Arts in Brussels features materials from HMML’s Malta Study Center and reflects the cultural diversity that is the foundation of the Maltese identity. The exhibition, “Malta – land of sea,” is in collaboration with Heritage Malta and Arts Council Malta.
HMML’s Malta Study Center provided three manuscripts for the exhibition. The first is an 18th-century captain’s report of a Spanish and Maltese squadron patrolling off the coast of Tunisia, while the second is another 18th century ship’s log from the French Frigate l’Iris, which details a convoy escorted from France to Malta in 1789. The third manuscript is an report on the need to re-fortify the walls of Fort Saint Elmo in Valletta by the engineer Mederico Blondel.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the Malta Study Center to participate with Heritage Malta,” noted Dr. Daniel Gullo, Joseph S. Micallef Curator of HMML’s Malta Study Center. “It allows us for the first time to share our own manuscript collection with our European partners.”
The exhibition commemorates the 50th anniversary of Malta’s original proposal for the United Nation’s Convention of the Law of the Sea, will be open between 17th February and 28th May of 2017. Objects included are loans from over twenty museums, cultural heritage institutions and non-governmental organizations in Malta and abroad. Works on display include maps, archaeological artefacts, paintings, maps, historic arms and weapons, geological finds, models and contemporary art. One of the star items on display, purposely loaned by the Pitti in Florence is Caravaggio’s Knight of Malta painted during the artist’s brief stay on the island between 1607 and 1608 and recently also restored. An unusual display, perfectly integrated within the exhibition display is a refugee compass recently used in one of the dangerous Mediterranean crossings.

Besides HMML, other institutions participating in this exhibition include the Mdina Cathedral Museum, The Victor Pasmore Foundation and Art Gallery, The Notarial Archives, Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum, the National Library, Casa Rocca Piccola and the non-governmental organisation MOAS. Two Maltese parish churches, Gudja Parish Church and St Paul’s Collegiate Parish Church (Rabat) have also lent works. International lenders include the Louvre, and Fondazione Renzo Piano (Genoa) besides Palazzo Pitti in Florence, Italy.

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