Lonely Planet Writer

Malta’s new fine art museum has opened in a Unesco site in Valletta

Fine art aficionados now have another reason to visit Malta as a major new museum has just opened in Valletta. MUŻA, or Muzew Nazzjonali tal-Arti (National Museum of Fine Art), is a national community arts museum containing over 20,000 works of art, and it is housed at Auberge d’Italie, a Unesco World Heritage site.

The building was formerly the historic seat of the knights of the Order of St. John. Image: MUŻA

The building was formerly the historic seat of the Italian knights of the Order of St. John, which dates back to the 16th century. It was also chosen in 1920 as the seat of the Valletta Museum, and the national collection was put on display there, including what was then known as the fine arts section. This has slowly developed and evolved into a national museum in its own right.

Malta’s new fine art museum has opened in a Unesco site in Valletta. Image: MUZA

The aim of the new museum is to promote greater participation by the community through a story-based narrative of display and related objects. It showcases work from stalwarts of the local and international art scene, and presents inspiring stories for visitors and Maltese residents to enjoy. MUŻA, which is also the Maltese word for inspiration, is a self-sustainable, energy-efficient institution with a potential zero-carbon footprint. It is green-powered, generating its energy requirements through renewable energy sources like solar panels, which, along with natural lighting, has been used in the design to promote sustainability.

MUŻA is a self-sustainable, energy-efficient institution with a potential zero-carbon footprint. Image: MUŻA

MUŻA is the legacy project for Valletta 2018 European Capital of Culture. It has collaborated with professional artists to create 21 short films and videos, allowing visitors to discover these artists’ muses. For further information, check out its website here.