The Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria was established on 27 December 1998 with the object of promoting the city of Gozo’s cultural identity and, in particular, of creating a Museum-cum-Cultural Centre in collaboration with St George’s basilica.
As projected, the Museum would not only exhibit treasures belonging to St George’s basilica but also other historical and cultural artefacts.
Over the years, the Fondazzjoni has been active in a range of cultural areas, including the publication of books and engravings, art exhibitions, book sales and music recitals.
After the acquisition of suitable property inside the city core and relative MEPA clearance, the Museum project was chosen earlier this year by PPCD to receive ERDF funding from the Cohesion Policy 2007-2013 Operational Programme I: Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life.
Presently the Fondazzjoni is in the final discussions leading to the formal signing of the grant agreement so that construction works can commence immediately.
A project of culture and history Entitled The Making of a People, the project aims at reviving and promoting Il-Ħaġar, the Mediæval town of Gozo, through the development of a Cultural and Heritage Centre which will serve as a venue for exhibiting its rich historical patrimony, provide space for cultural expression and generate economic and social development within the hitherto scarcely tapped historical quarter.
The museum will constitute an innovative element which will help Malta develop further as a cultural destination of excellence, and will provide opportunity for higher diversification for the marketing of the Malta and Gozo products as an attractive cultural destination. It will also aid in their branding as cultural destinations of excellence since such branding needs to be invariably based on an existing and quality offer.
Basically, this new museum and cultural centre will be displaying a rich collection of historical and artistic artefacts presently inaccessible to the public. It will also contribute towards a new alternative cultural tourism niche, synergising with Gozo’s cultural offer. Moreover the venue will include space for temporary exhibitions and events of cultural expression and development for various target groups.
Funding and fundraising The selection of the projected Museum-cum-Cultural Centre for ERDF funding means that eligible costs will be 85% EU-funded.
The Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria will need to generate the remaining 15% of the overall cost of the project, amounting to some €150,000.
A programme of fund-raising covering three years is being launched seeking sponsors, patrons and benefactors. Of these, the benefactors are the most crucial, the kind that have funded such momenteous projects in Victoria as the War Monument in Pjazza Indipendenza, the Teatru Astra and the bronze portals of St George’s basilica.
Representatives of the Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria, themselves being the museum’s first benefactors, shall be contacting potential benefactors to “invest” in a project that will enhance the cultural identity of St George’s basilica and its city.
Mgr Joseph Farrugia, archpriest emeritus of St George’s, who has seen through so many projects of a cultural nature that have enhanced the city core, has been the first to donate €150 which means that the museum is now funded by €1000! He is also committed to repeat his donation in 2011 and 2012.
The fund-raising campaign quite naturally targets initially parishioners and friends of St George’s basilica, but the slogan is addressed to all, Gozitans or not! “Turn €150 into 1000”, or, in Maltese, “150 agħmilhom elf!”.
We need at least an initial 500 donations of €150, amounting to €75,000 – half the funding that the EU expects from us. The prevailing financial circumstances are difficult but true benefactors are not daunted!
Those who opt to make the requested donation of €150 – which may be made in instalments – get in return a lifetime free entrance for two to the museum but the whole portfolio of benefits will be announced very soon.
You may deposit your donation on one of our local bank accounts: APS: 20000866897 BOV: 40018670408 HSBC: 071227912001