The Malta Independent 25 September 2022, Sunday
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Heritage Malta brings National Museum of Archaeology collections online at Google Arts & Culture

Monday, 5 June 2017, 15:15 Last update: about 6 years ago

Over 150 artefacts from the National Museum of Archaeology can now be viewed online on Google Arts & Culture as a result of a new partnership between Heritage Malta and Google. The virtual exhibition, which features details in high resolution from the paintings and artefacts found in the Grand Salon, was presented officially by the Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government, Dr Owen Bonnici together with Google Arts & Culture director Giorgia Abeltino and Heritage Malta CEO Kenneth Gambin.


The collaboration between Heritage Malta and the international tech-giant will allow users to learn more about iconic artworks from the museum - like the Sleeping Lady - through dedicated exhibits, as well as to virtually visit the museum through the so-called Cardboard Tour. Other highlights in the virtual exhibition include the sarcophagus from Għar Barka, the Venus of Malta and the altar from the Tarxien Temples. All these items were excavated over the past century and put on display at the National Archaeology Museum.

In his address Minister Bonnici said that this is a step forward towards future plans to facilitate the link between information technology and the cultural world, on the basis of a model of collaboration between government, national stakeholders like Heritage Malta and exponents from the businesses world, which has been successfully used many times through these last four years.

"It is important that we continue on this path of preserving, nurturing and also modernising our cultural sector, because it is crucial in making culture accessible to all, overcoming the limitations of geographical or physical barriers," the Minister said.

The National Museum of Archaeology is available online in just a few clicks at


Get up close with ultra-high resolution images

The mural paintings from the Grand Salon can now be viewed in never before seen definition thanks to Art camera/Gigapixel technology, a powerful photo capturing process which has enabled the highest ever resolution image of this feature. Viewers can explore it in extraordinary detail and experience it far beyond what is visible to the naked eye, and this image could be of great help for the conservation and restoration of the room in the coming years.


Virtual tour with Street View

Using the Street View feature, people can move around the National Museum of Archaeology virtually, selecting works that interest them and clicking to discover more or diving into the high resolution images, where available. A specially designed Street View 'trolley' took 360 degree images of selected galleries which were then stitched together, enabling smooth navigation of over six rooms within the museum, including the Grand Salon.



Digital exhibits

Specially curated virtual exhibits have been developed for the online visitors who can discover 10 online interactive exhibits, curated by experts at the National Museum of Archaeology. The digital exhibitions tell the story, among others, of the Sleeping Lady, Prehistoric Fashion in Malta, and the mysterious protagonists of ancient Mediterranean history. Viewers can get to know further about what has been discovered regarding particular items such as the Sleeping Lady, an artefact that was created thousands of years ago and which transcends time through its innate artistic beauty and enigmatic feel.


About National Museum of Archaeology

The Museum exhibits a spectacular range of artefacts dating back to Malta's Neolithic period (5000 BC) up to the Phoenician Period (400 BC). On display are the earliest tools used by the prehistoric people to facilitate their daily tasks and representations of animal and human figures; elements which not only show the great artistic skills of the first dwellers of the island but also gives us an insight of their daily lives.

It is housed in the Auberge de Provence, in Republic Street, Valletta. The building, an example of fine Baroque architecture, was built in 1571 and followed a plan by local architect Ġilormu Cassar. The Auberge de Provence was house to the Knights of the Order of St John originating from Provence, France and displays beautiful architectural features. Of particular note is the Grand Salon, with its richly painted walls and wooden beamed ceiling.


What is Google Arts & Culture?

Google Arts & Culture is a new, immersive way to experience art, history, culture and world wonders from over a thousand organisations worldwide. Google Arts & Culture has been created by the Google Cultural Institute and it is available for free for everyone on the web, on iOS and Android.

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