The Ambassador of Malta, H.E. Mr. Marc Antony Pace. 27 July 2021 Museum of Antiquities Leiden.
By Michelle Rahimi
On July 27th, Malta and the National Museum of Antiquities of Leiden organized an extraordinary exhibition showcasing Maltese culture and history.
The impressive exhibition took several years of preparation, investigation, and consultation from both Malta and the Netherlands leading up to the opening.
Despite the difficulties the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic brought about, including restrictions and the lack of personnel available from each country, the goal of hosting an opening exhibition was reached virtually and live.
The Ambassador of Malta, H.E. Mr. Marc Antony Pace, the director of the museum, Mr. Wim Weijland, and their team came together to work with one another despite the challenges this year has brought about.
Ambassador Pace addressed this in his speech, “The opening of this exhibition, even if in a virtual format, is even more special. It shows how much we can achieve when we work together beyond borders and cultures. Despite all the difficulties, the Rijskmusuem van Oudehen, Heritage Malta and the Malta Tourism Authority managed to make it happen.”
Malta obtains a long and exquisite history that predates entire civilizations including Ancient Egypt and Rome. It is also home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the oldest erected before the Stonehenge.
With stone being the archipelago’s only natural resource, its inhabitants came to be very skilled masons. Every phase of Malta’s history is said to have left an architectural legacy.
In the exhibition opening speech, H.E. Mr. Marc Antony Pace exclaimed “It is a well-known fact that Malta is a small country. But as a Maltese statesman used to often repeat “it’s not the size of the country, it is the size of the idea.”
It is quite apparent that the Maltese have made a lasting impression on the world, despite their size. Between 3600 and 2500 B.C., Malta experienced an architectural phenomenon and constructed megalithic structures across the island. These buildings were built to a very high degree of design and precision, with pieces of this unique spectacle displayed across the new exhibition.
“We hope that this exhibition will encourage those living in the Netherlands to visit Malta to experience first-hand the uniqueness of Malta’s prehistory and our other cultural treasures,” H.E. Marc Antony Pace mentioned in some of his closing remarks.
The new exhibition will no doubt foster and continue to build the relationship and partnership between Malta, the Netherlands, and all those who wish to experience the beauty of these cultures.