Future visitors to the Malta Maritime Museum in Birgu will be treated to a fully immersive and interactive experience, the result of an extensive programme of regeneration.

The project is part of a larger investment by the government of Malta and Heritage Malta in the Malta Maritime Museum with two million of funding provided by EEA and Norway Grants. Comprising a significant restoration and redesign of the museum site in Birgu waterfront and a large scale digitisation programme headed by the Digitisation Department, this project will see the Malta Maritime Museum and Heritage Malta’s digital activities become industry leading examples of 21st century museum practice.

The EEA and Norway Grants project consists of two parts:

• Civil Works, which is seeing the existing building undergoing extensive rehabilitation and restoration, and
• a Digitisation component, which aims to create an accessible database of rich information, knowledge and digital media of Malta’s cultural heritage assets at the Malta Maritime Museum.

Half of the EEA Norway Grant funds are being allocated towards civil works which are being carried out to repair structural damage and rehabilitate unused areas of the museum in order to create further spaces accessible to the public. The total area of visitors’ facilities, museum and exhibition space at the Malta Maritime Museum will increase to 1,629 sq.m. from the current 1,086 sq.m. The project will take measures to present the museum’s collections in innovative ways and stabilise all of the museum areas, with priority given to works in the silo and central halls. Significant works will be undertaken on the roof and the rear façade, and a new foyer and reception area will be created at ground floor level. The permanent display areas on the first floor will be expanded, as will space for the reserve collection.

The remaining half of the grant is being invested in digitising 2600 artefacts within the Malta Maritime Museum.

This is a major first for Heritage Malta and part of a long term project to digitise hundreds of thousands of items in the national collection, ranging from paintings to porcelain, archaeological artefacts, arms and armour, natural history specimens, clothing, and intangible cultural heritage assets. High quality equipment is being used to capture still images, 3D laser scans, photogrammetry and videography.
The project also finances the creation of a Collections Management System to act as a fetched accessible database of rich information, knowledge and various forms of digital media of Malta’s cultural heritage assets, focusing on the Maritime Museum collection.

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