A vast selection of coins and medals is on display at the National Numismatic Exhibition, opened earlier this week at the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta.
It is being presented by Heritage Malta.
“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 and Culture Owen Bonnici. “It is therefore a good thing that such a collection is accessible to everyone.”
He said the collection is continuously being extended thanks to with acquisitions and donations.
The exhibition is divided into different periods of history and includes the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Medieval millennium, the Order of St John, the French, and the British. Another section includes medals, proofs and accessories, while the minting process is also explained through audiovisual means.
Heritage Malta chairman Joe Buttigieg paid tribute to those who helped put the collection together.
"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.”
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.
The opening hours of the National Museum of Archaeology are from 9am to 5pm until the end of February, and from 9am to 6pm from March until December. For more information visit www.heritagemalta.org