Titled ‘Between the Battlesword and the Cross: Masterpieces of the Armoury of Malta’, the exhibition is one of the highlights of the cultural season of the French EU Presidency
An exhibition that gives a taste of Malta’s rich history as the home of the Knights of St John was opened last night at the Hotel des Invalides in the heart of Paris.
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, who inaugurated the exhibition, said it not only showcased Malta’s rich cultural history, but it also symbolised the deep and long-standing relationship that exists between France and Malta.
Titled ‘Between the Battlesword and the Cross: Masterpieces of the Armoury of Malta’, the exhibition is one of the highlights of the cultural season of the French EU Presidency and features artefacts from the museums managed by Heritage Malta as well as from the Invalides, the Musée de la Marine, Epernay, and the Royal Armouries, Leeds.
Poster from the Les Invalides military museum complex in Paris.
Among them are suits of armour, cannon, paintings and the sword and dagger of Grand Master La Valette, from the Louvre Museum.
A public conference is also being organised with various speakers from Malta, France and the UK.
Dr Gonzi said that it was by further exploiting its heritage that Malta would like to continue transforming itself into a unique Mediterranean tourist destination.
The Prime Minister praised the collaboration which exists between Malta and France in education. He also observed that France is one of Malta’s top three trading partners and trade between the two countries remains healthy.
“In spite of this, there is still room for improvement. Malta continues to invest in creating an enabling environment that has the potential to foster new business activity with France and attract high quality investment, especially in our fast-growing high value-added sectors.”
Dr Gonzi thanked Maltese Ambassador Vicki Ann Cremona, who together with the respective French and Maltese authorities made this exhibition possible.
“Let us use this exhibition not only as a recollection of our past and common heritage but, it should also engender faith and hope in what is to come in the future through our shared effort and unity.”
The exhibition remains open until January 11.