Getting to know Malta’s cultural heritage better
The Heritage Malta Membership Scheme, which was launched in 2005 to encourage local residents to make frequent visits to museums and sites and to get to know the priceless treasures that Malta offers, today boasts around 600 adult members. Around one-third of the memberships are family memberships.
Marcia Grima from the Marketing and Communications Department at Heritage Malta told di-ve.com that the scheme gives residents in Malta a greater sense of being stakeholders in the cultural heritage that was entrusted to Heritage Malta to safeguard for present and future generations.
Malta boasts of a wealth of archaeological, architectural and historical places and artefacts that wait to be discovered by the curious individual. The 7,000 years of history make the Maltese archipelago a truly unique and remarkable place. The megalithic temples scattered all over the island are among the first free-standing structures in the world dating back to 3600 BC in the case of Ġgantija Temples.
The scheme gives the possibility of acquiring one of four membership cards, that is, an adult member’s card, a junior member’s car, a senior member’s card or a family membership card.
The latter is open to family groups that shall be composed of the parents (or parent in the case of single parent families) plus children under 18 years of age bearing the same family name and residing at the same postal address. The Family Membership Card may be used as a whole family unit; by the parents as couples or as individuals and by the children as individuals provided they are over six and under 18 years of age and whose names are registered on the card.
The membership card carries several benefits including free, unrestricted entry for the holder to all Heritage Malta Museums and sites for one calendar year, except the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum; a special discount of 50% for tickets to Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum and discounts on purchases made in Heritage Malta museum shops.
Members are also invited to all Heritage Malta’s public lectures; they receive information email on all public events organised by Heritage Malta and get free entry or significant discounts on entry tickets to special exhibitions organised by Heritage Malta.
Membership cards are valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be renewed upon expiry.
Marcia Grima said that during the years membership numbers have fluctuated. The lowest number of members was registered in 2009 at around 300 “but since then, they have increased steadily.”
Statistics obtained from Heritage Malta show that in the first 11 months of 2011 the number of paying visitors to Malta’s sites and museums added up to 93,692. In 2010, the number of paying visitors added up to 1,064,454, in 2009 1,042,120 and in 2008 1,066,914.
Ms Grima said that an increase in the number of visitors is noticed at the sites that Heritage Malta opens to the public for free. Around 2,300 people visited Fort St Angelo on the open day held on June 17. This site is normally closed off to the public because of the ongoing restoration works.
The open day at Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra on June 29 attracted another 1,300 visitors. During summer, the number of visitors on an average day fluctuate between 250 and 500 visitors.
The membership card fees are the following: €35.00 annually for Adult Members between the ages of 18 and 59; €27.00 annually for Junior Members under the age of 18; €27.00 annually for Senior Members over the age of 60 and €70.00 annually for Family Membership Card.