For this year's Notte Bianca, Heritage Malta has reached an agreement with the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts to open its major museums in Valletta free of charge to the public.

On the night of October 4, the National Museum of Archaeology, the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Grandmaster's Palace and the Tal-Pilar church (in West Street) will be open for public viewing.

Tal-Pilar church is rarely open to the public and for the occasion will be specially decorated and will host an exhibition of ecclesiastical silver from the National Collection.

Most of the Heritage Malta venues will be hosting a series of events: the Fine Arts Museum, for example, should attract a number of children for story-telling sessions conducted by Saviour Pirotta, a Maltese author based in the UK. In a separate part of the museum there will be a live male model available for artists to paint and sketch and a brass quintet from the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra will provide background music.

The National Museum of Archaeology Salon, which is not usually open for visitors, will be hosting an interactive activity where visitors will have the chance to handle authentic archaeological artefacts and obtain information about the different relevant items. In other parts of the museum, scenes from Shakespeare's plays will be enacted.

Besides the events mentioned above, Heritage Malta will be coordinating the events of two other venues. The Auberge de Castille - which houses the Office of the Prime Minister - will be hosting a selection of recently-acquired maps from the Ganado Map Collection and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be showcasing a number of paintings entitled Views From Gozo by Maltese and foreign artists.

At the Heritage Malta head office, Anthony Catania's exhibition, entitled The Piper's Requiem, will be open to the public and, concurrently in the same venue, books published by Heritage Malta, Mid Sea Publishers and Sacred Islands will be on sale at heavily discounted prices.

During Notte Bianca, Heritage Malta museums will be open from 6 p.m. onwards.


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