The Malta Independent 22 May 2018, Tuesday

Vast selection of coins and medals on display to public for first time

Wednesday, 24 January 2018, 14:49 Last update: about 5 months ago

The National Numismatic Collection, consisting of more than 16,000 coins and medals, is the largest and most diverse found on the island. Heritage Malta’s visitors can view a vast selection of these coins at the National Numismatic Exhibition at the National Museum of Archaeology.

“This valuable collection shows us and reminds us of our country’s eventful and rich past, especially due to its strategic position”, said Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici. “It is therefore a good thing that such a collection is accessible to everyone.”

This collection is continuously being increased with acquisitions and donations. The exhibition is divided periodically and includes the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Medieval millennium, the Order of St John, the French, and the British. Another section includes medals, dies, proofs and accessories, while the minting process is also explained through audiovisual means.

Heritage Malta’s Chairperson Dr Joe Buttigieg said that, “We should also think of those who have contributed to this collection. I have to mention the considerable donation of Prof Salvatore Lugi Pisani in 1899 and Dr Tancred Gouder as well, an ex-archaeology curator and director of the Museum Department who had this collection at heart and made sure to exhibit and increase it through the years.” There was a need for this exhibition to be permanently on show, and it is now accessible to the general public regularly for the first time, as before this exhibition was only accessible via appointment. 

Coins started being struck around 650 BC. They provide physical evidence not only of monetary values, but also of other information such as the political import of different periods. Until 1972, Malta mainly used coinage of the various foreign powers occupying the islands. In that year, Malta issued its own currency for the first time. Heritage Malta also displays a number of coins in other museums such as the Domus Romana, the Archaeology Museum in Gozo, and Fort St Elmo. A selection from this collection will eventually be on show in the Grand Master’s Palace as part of the major project of rehabilitation co-financed by the European Union.

Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Protection and Valletta 2018 was also present for the launch of this exhibition.

The opening hours of the National Museum of Archaeology are from 9.00hrs to17.00hrs until February, and from 9.00hrs to 18.00hrs from March until December. For more information visit www.heritagemalta.org

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