Conservation expert Theresa Zammit Lupi will deliver a lecture on June 2 at 6pm live via Facebook regarding her book Cantate Domino: Early Choir Books for the Knights in Malta.

This is the first virtual lecture being organised by the Central Bank of Malta live on its Facebook events page. It will also be available as a podcast on the bank’s website.

When Zammit Lupi was researching Grand Master Philippe Villiers de L’Isle-Adam’s Graduals choir books – a collection of 10 magnificently illuminated liturgical manuscripts dated 1533 found in St John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta – the presence of dried sand on the pages of books several hundred years old was just one of the fascinating facets she discovered.

The sand had been used to dry the ink painstakingly used by members of the French Scriptorium working on the text

The sand had been used to dry the ink painstakingly used by members of the French scriptorium working on the text. The manuscripts had been commissioned by the French Grand Master for the Order of the Knights of St John shortly after its arrival in Malta.

Zammit Lupi, who made this collection the subject of her doctoral thesis, was the first person to study these beautifully decorated manuscripts in microscopic detail. Her findings, published in a 2011 Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti book, covers their historical context and explains the significance of each detail of their manufacture.

One of the illuminated letters from the manuscripts was chosen by the Central Bank of Malta’s Malta Coin Centre as the design for the first numismatic coin released in 2020.

Anyone interested in attending the lecture may like or follow the Central Bank of Malta’s Facebook page to keep abreast of future events to be held by the bank. One may also subscribe on the website below to receive newsletters by e-mail.

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