PR230276en

22/02/2023

PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR THE NATIONAL HERITAGE, THE ARTS AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR EUROPEAN FUNDS 7,500 artefacts digitised in three years

Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government Owen Bonnici and Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Chris Bonett visited Heritage Malta's Digitisation Unit, which was set up to digitise the broadest and most intangible cultural heritage assets entrusted to Heritage Malta for the most comprehensive possible use.

 

The funds obtained from the EEA Norway Grants amount to €2 million and were used to conduct the restoration works in the Maritime Museum, and the setting up of the Digitization Unit including the purchase of modern equipment for the digitisation of maritime heritage. A Collection Management System (CMS) was also set up, whereby these collections are catalogued through this software.

 

Minister Owen Bonnici pointed out how digitisation ensures widespread use by present and future generations. “Our goal was to digitise around 4000 artefacts within three years; however, this has been exceeded as within three years around 7500 artefacts were digitised. We will continue to keep history as an integral part of our country and we will continue to give it the importance it deserves", Minister Bonnici explained.

 

Parliamentary Secretary Chris Bonett said that through European and Norwegian Funds, they are investing in cultural aspects to ensure that the Maltese heritage is not only experienced by locals but also tourists. “Apart from restoration works which are being carried out to enhance the experience at the museum, today we are experiencing another example of an innovative project which was funded by Norwegian Funds, which will offer a personal and interactive experience to those visiting the Maritime Museum," stated Dr Bonett.

 

Heritage Malta's Chief Executive Officer, Noel Zammit, explained that in recent years, digital technology had enabled Heritage Malta to reach out to a broader audience than ever before, making our national collection accessible to both locals and foreigners in the comfort of their homes. Moreover, it has paved the way towards new approaches in museology – increasing access, improving interpretation, and creating enhanced visitor-centred experiences.

 

Anthony Cassar, who manages the Digitisation Unit, highlighted the fact that last summer, the unit was awarded the ISO9001 certification by Lloyds Register Quality Assurance, making it the first department within Heritage Malta to acquire this prestigious certificate.​