Stqarrija bil-Malti Agħfas Hawn / Press Release in Maltese Click Here

Dr Owen Bonnici, Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government, and Dr Chris Bonett, Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds, visited Heritage Malta’s Digitisation Unit, which was set up in 2021 with the task of digitising the tangible and intangible cultural heritage assets entrusted to Heritage Malta, for the widest possible use by current and future generations.

Heritage Malta’s Chief Executive Officer, Noel Zammit, showed the guests around together with Anthony Cassar, who manages the unit, and other members of the agency’s top management. Mr Zammit explained how in recent years, digital technology has 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 highlighted the fact that the Digitisation Unit was set up with the aid of funds received by the EEA Norway Grants. He said that one of the first tasks implemented by the unit has been the digitisation of thousands of artefacts from the Malta Maritime Museum. A Collection Management System (CMS) has also been established, providing for the cataloguing of whole collections with the aid of specialised software. 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.

Minister Owen Bonnici remarked that digitisation ensures widespread access to cultural heritage by present and future generations. He said that the Digitisation Unit’s plan was to digitise 3,600 artefacts over a period of three years. This figure has been greatly surpassed, reaching some 7,500 artefacts or double the original plan. “We will continue to keep history an integral part of our country’s life and to give it the importance it deserves,” Minister Bonnici said.

Parliamentary Secretary Chris Bonett said that with the help of both European Funds and Norwegian Funds, investments in cultural aspects are persistent in order to ensure that the Maltese heritage is not only experienced by locals but also by tourists. “Besides ongoing restoration works to enhance the experience at the Maritime Museum, today we are experiencing another example of an innovative project funded by Norwegian Funds, which will offer a personal and interactive experience to those visiting the museum,” Dr Bonett said.

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