Nuncio enrolls as FBV life member at Official Presentation
The “official” presentation of the Basilica Museum project, partially financed by the European Union through the PPCD and wholly entrusted to the Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria, took place on Friday 18 June 2010, during a Victoria International Arts Festival soirée starting at7.00pm.The appreciative audience which filled St George’s Basilica were treated to six pieces from the Laudate Pueri Choir, four works at the beginning by Palestrina, Balzano, Perosi and Bartolucci, and two at the end: the Agnus Dei from Prof. Joseph Vella’s Missa Brevis and his arrangement of Riesaq il-lejl, Mulejja.
The closely-knit and smooth-running programme consisted mainly of speeches in Maltese.When the choir had finished its first four pieces, Archpriest Mgr Pawlu Cardona made a short welcome address, with a few words in Italian and English too.What followed was a set of three speeches which outlined to the public what the Foundation’s project is all about: Il-Ħaġar – The Making of a People: A Cultural and Historical Eco-Museum.
Project leader and Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria’schairman Antoine Vassallo gave an overview of developments in his keynote speech, with points projected in English on a main screen behind the altar, for the benefit of foreign guests.After him, historian and FBV consultant Dr Paul George Pisani km discussed the “new” type of museum, giving interesting insights of the cultural, historical and artistic aspects in this new project which will be realised at the very heart of the old town of Gozo.Then, Archpriest emeritus Mgr Dr Joseph Farrugia, project coordinator and FBV co-founder, gave an address in English explaining the museum vision.
The speeches, which will be later uploaded on the page FBV has on this website, were interrupted by a thrilling seven-minute video, prepared in a professional way by Citadel Video Communications in collaboration with the Foundation’s Working Group, which presented in a nutshell the reasoning behind Il-Ħaġar, this innovative museum and cultural centre.Look out for an upload of this video on our YouTube channel in the coming days.
Another set of short speeches followed this audio-visual break, leading this lovely official presentation to a conclusion.FBV board and Museum Working Group member Joseph Borg appealed for more supporters, suggesting FBV life membership and participation in the 150 agħmilhom elf scheme (“Invest €150 to acquire €1000 for the Museum”).Those who wish to join in are kindly requsted to ask a member of the Foundation for further instructions.They may also wish to donate their €150 – or more! – by a transfer to one of these bank accounts: APS: 20000866897, BOV: 40018670408, HSBC: 071227912001, LOMBARD: 0117460034501.Further information is available on www.fbvgozo.org.mt.
Parliamentary Secretary Dr Chris Said presented a Co-Financing Fund for CSOs donation to FBV treasurer and project contact person Jacqueline Mizzi.He also delivered a speech on the Government’s determination to help such cultural projects of national interest.Two other Gozitan Foundations, he said, have followed the Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria’s example and applied for EU funds.Gozo Minister Giovanna Debono also referred to State support for NGOs.H.L. Mgr Tommaso Caputo, the Apostolic Nuncio in Malta, led a concluding prayer, projected in both English and Maltese, taking the opportunity to give words of encouragement in English, mentioning a telephone call he had just recieved from Mgr Alfred Xuereb, from Rome, assuring him and us of the Pope’s blessing for this valuable project.The “treasures” of the Church, though primarily spiritual, consist also of its artistic and cultural heritage, which certainly ought to be well preserved and shared with future generations.At the end of his inspiring message, Mgr Caputo also requested FBV life membership, becoming himself a supporter to the project: we are all encouraged to imitate him!
The guests – also including (in no particular order) FBV co-founder Fr Charles Cini sdb, Chapter members, MPs, heads of public and private sector institutions, EC Malta Representation head William Martin, PPCD OPI head Carmen Galea, project manager George Papagiorcopulo, parishioners and supporters – were then all invited for refreshments at the parish centre. Further invitees, including Prime Minister Dr Lawrence Gonzi, were unavoidably absent and sent regrets.
For the occasion, a set of six old canvas paintings, currently preserved at the Aula Capitularis, were hanged to the main arches of St George’s Basilica.Some of these paintings are former altarpieces of the basilica or of non-extant Rabat chapels, and they constitute some of the most prestigious works of art in Gozo.They shall remain in the basilica, for visitors and tourists to admire, until the end of this month.In case you can’t make it to the basilica before then, visit Joe Zammit’s album to get an idea!
This official presentation has certainly been another important step towards the actuation of FBV’s noble project.Undoubdetly, there is much more work to be done before it is finally realised, including the collection of several donations from our generous benefactors…