IL-ĦAĠAR – Heart of Gozo Museum and Cultural Centre Inaugurated
A brand new museum at the heart of Gozo has just been launched, promising a new and fulfilling experience to all those who would like to know more about the religious legacy that has shaped Gozo’s identity.
Located adjacent to St George’s Basilica in Victoria, the €1.2 million project called IL-ĦAĠAR – Heart of Gozo is the very first edifice on the islands built purposely as a museum and its innovation lies in the fact that this museum narrates the history of Gozo’s community within a religious context.
Designed by Bright White Ltd from the UK, specialists in the design and building of specially themed historical museums, IL-ĦAĠAR – Heart of Gozo is a new museum destination on three floors with numerous historical and religious exhibits that were previously not accessible for public viewing. At the very heart of these premises, a huge towering sculpture runs through all the three storeys and represents the successive communities on the island as the building blocks of the Gozitan community.
The museum is the brainchild of Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria who in collaboration with St George’s Basilica and a team of volunteers in Gozo, wanted to create a new destination for the large number of historical artefacts and religious exhibits that needed to be exhibited for the public. Eventually, the project was chosen for ERDF funding under Operational Programme I: Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life and also found the support from the Co-Financing Fund for Civil Society Organisations, among others.
In his welcome address, Antoine Vassallo, Chairperson of Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria said that the project aims at reviving and promoting Il-Ħaġar, the Mediaeval town of Gozo, through the development of a Cultural and Heritage Centre in a way that celebrates Gozo’s cultural identity and the strong religious sentiment that shaped Gozo’s social community. “It is a dream come true for us all who have been working on this project for many years and today, we are very proud to be inaugurating this state of the art museum cum cultural centre through which we will be contributing towards making Gozo a stronger cultural destination of excellence.”
IL-ĦAĠAR – Heart of Gozo offers an interactive experience to its visitors through historical information and various multimedia channels. Several exhibits have been restored to their original pristine condition, purposely for inclusion in the museum collection and more items await restoration in the near future. The halls also include space for temporary and contemporary exhibitions and lectures.
The museum will be open every week between Tuesday and Sunday between 10.00am and 4.00pm. The museum can also host group visits on request. Further information is available on the official website www.heartofgozo.org.mt.