Curator honoured with “Gieħ ir-Repubblika”

Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 4:54pm

This 13th December was a special day for our museum, Il-Ħaġar, as its founder and curator Mgr Joseph Farrugia was made Member of the National Order of Merit at the Investiture Ceremony which took place at The Palace, Valletta.

Mgr Joseph Farrugia, born in Victoria, Gozo, was educated in state schools, and studied philosophy and theology at the Sacred Heart Seminary. In 1978, Mgr Farrugia was ordained priest and continued his postgraduate studies at the Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana, Rome, where he obtained a Licentiate in Dogmatic Theology and a Doctorate in Theology.

In 1983, he joined the academic staff of the Sacred Heart Seminary, and in 1988 he joined the Faculty of Theology at the University of Malta. He introduced a university evening course in Christian theology of Suffering, and was active at the University of the Third Age, both in Malta and Gozo. In 1992, Mgr Farrugia was involved in the setting up of the University Gozo Campus, where he gave the very first course in Mediterranean civilizations and religions. He also served as archpriest of St George’s Basilica in Victoria between 1998 and 2007.

Mgr Farrugia has been deeply involved in the promotion of Gozo’s culture. He is the founder of the renowned Laudate Pueri Choir, and he also collaborated in the launching of the Victoria International Arts Festival. He co-founded the Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria that created the Il-Ħaġar Museum, the first interactive and state of the art museum in Gozo and has set up many monumental inscriptions honouring Gozitan events and eminent personalities.

Mgr Farrugia is chaplain to the Victoria Scout Group and to the La Stella Philharmonic Society. Following an appeal for priests, he is currently working as vicar in four parishes, and also as replacement priest in another parish of the diocese of Arles and Aix-en-Provence, France. Mgr Farrugia is also Prelate of Honour to His Holiness.

Sub Tuum Praesidium at Il-Ħaġar Museum

Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 3:39pm
All is set for the opening of Sub Tuum Praesidium, an exhibition of Marian art marking the fourth centenary of the Amadeo Perugino painting of Our Lady Ta’ Pinu.
Divided into four theological themes spread across the four levels of Il-Ħaġar Museum, the display features paintings and works of art sourced from public institutions, ecclesiastical and private collections.
The exhibition is comprehensively illustrated in the fourth publication of Il-Ħaġar Gems series, which is expected to be launched tomorrow at the opening of the exhibition.
The opening ceremony is tomorrow, Sunday, the 20th of January, at 11:45, and the exhibition will be inaugurated by H. L. Mgr Mario Grech, Bishop of Gozo.
The exhibition runs until February 14, and entrance is, as always, free of charge.

Il-Ħaġar Museum’s Sixth Anniversary Celebrations and the First Anniversary of Mro Joseph Vella’s Demise

Monday, January 14, 2019 at 2:01pm


Ahead of Il-Ħaġar | Heart of Gozo museum’s sixth anniversary and the first anniversary of Mro Joseph Vella’s demise, the Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria is pleased to announce the highlights of the programme of cultural events projected to mark these two special anniversaries.


Christmas Lunchtime Concerts at Il-Ħagar Museum

Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 5:05pm

The first of two lunchtime concerts, as part of the Christmas celebrations in Gozo, was held on the 15th of December by the members and students Gozo School of Visual and Performing Arts under the direction of Mro Joseph Debrincat and Ms. Joy Frendo.

The next concert is on the 22nd of December, by the female members of the Laudate Pueri choir.

Tandem: A Joint Exhibition by Galina Troizky and Henry Alamango

Wednesday, November 21, 2018 at 6:03pm

Il-Ħaġar│Heart of Gozo Museum is proud to present ‘Tandem’, a joint exhibition by Russian-born Galina Troizky and Maltese artist Henry Alamango, both based in Gozo.

Galina Troizky graduated in Moscow in applied art and fashion design and subsequently lived and worked as an artist for several years in Berlin. She has held solo exhibitions in Berlin, in Malta at the National Museum of Fine Arts and at the Ministry for Gozo, besides participating in several collective events in Germany, New York, Holland, Zurich and Moscow.

Henry Alamango is a popular artist inspired by all things Mediterranean, with a life-long attachment to Gozo. His watercolours exude a serenity and atmospherics that underscore his passion for the local environment.

‘Tandem’ is largely the product of these two artists’ plein-air activity, a figurative representation of the landscape with its seasonal transformations. A sample of Galina’s contemporary art in collage and oils is also included: a comment- or lament- regarding the “progress” of society to a soul-less urbanisation. In this respect, the two representations of virgin as well as the cluttered modern landscapes are a cause for reflection and soul-searching.

The exhibition will be inaugurated by Professor Joe Friggieri on Sunday 2 December 2018 at 11:45, and runs until Sunday 13 January 2019. Entrance is, as always, free of charge.

In Conversation with Joseph Calleja

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 6:41pm

Updated with video of the interview.



French Donation for the Museum

Friday, November 9, 2018 at 5:53pm


The latest donation to Il-Ħaġar Museum was made by French artist Isabelle Gavoty-Ravanas during a visit that she made on 24 October 2018.

The French sculptor, accompanied by her husband Mr Dominique Ravanas, was given a tour of the museum by curator Mgr Dr Joseph Farrugia. Mgr Farrugia is currently active in the region of Provence in France. He was on one his regular visits to Gozo during which his main activity concerned management and operations at the Museum.

Mr and Mrs Ravanas reside in one of the Provence parishes where Mgr Farrugia is assistant priest.

Isabelle Gavoty-Ravanas presented the bust of a playful little girl that she identified with  Hystée, queen of the elves. This bust in included in the book Balades étoilées, her fifth, featuring 33 sculptures using various media, including bronze.

Since the dawn of time, Hystée is the chief of the little elves and joyously dances through life in the tireless communication of life to all. Hystée, the sweet reflection of Agape love, gives abundant love. Mgr Farrugia thanked Mrs Ravanas on behalf of the Museum. Also present were FBV chair Mr Antoine Vassallo and other members of the Museum administration.


Brexit Talks: The State of Play

Monday, November 5, 2018 at 4:22pm

The United Kingdom has decided to leave the European Union and has triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on 29 March 2017. Within two years, the U.K. must negotiate the terms of the exit treaty from the EU and lay the groundwork for its future relationship with its major trading partner.

It has been described as the most complex operation in post-war Britain, a case of undoing an omelette and getting back the eggs and the cheese. It has also been said that 90% of the Brexit Treaty is agreed. Yet, a final deal is proving elusive, the main obstacles being the land border with the Irish Republic and the new customs arrangement. To complicate matters, Prime Minister Theresa May does not have a solid parliamentary majority, depends on the votes of the Irish Unionists for her survival and is hostage to a sizeable minority of hard Brexiteers. 

Less than six months to exit, it is not clear whether a deal will be reached, the precise contours of such a deal, whether the UK Parliament will approve the deal and whether a second popular vote will be granted to approve the deal with Brussels. Time is indeed running out and the prospects of a no-deal Brexit are increasing. 

At the public talk he is giving on Saturday 17 November at Il-Ħaġar Museum, Dr Joseph Ellis will try to explain the various forces at play, the deal that the UK may aspire to reach, what the EU members will be prepared to concede and the future prospects of UK-EU relationship. But perhaps a deal would have been reached by then. We will have to wait and see.

The talk starts at 11:00 and entrance is, as always, free of charge. Places are limited and they will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Seat reservations can be made by sending an email to



Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 7:23pm


Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 7:19pm

We’re in for an exciting weekend at Il-Ħaġar Museum, with events kicking off the seventeenth edition of Festival Mediterranea, an annual celebration of culture let off at the very heart of the Mediterranean, on the history laden island of Gozo.

On Saturday the 20th of October, at 11:00, Godwin Vella gives a public talk with the theme “Early Modern Rabat: Continuity and Change”. Entrance is free of charge, and seat reservations can be made by emailing

On Sunday the 21st, the Laudate Pueri Choir sings the 11:00 mass at St George’s Basilica, which will be for the repose of Mro Joseph Vella, the artistic director of Festival Mediterranea, who passed away earlier this year.

Right after the liturgy, the Hon. Dr Justyne Caruana, Minister for Gozo, opens the exhibition “Teatru Astra: Gozo’s Trailblazer”, marking the theatre’s golden jubilee, at Il-Ħaġar Museum.

A 68-page full-colour publication (Il-Ħaġar Gems series, No. 3) about Teatru Astra will be launched during the opening of the exhibition, and will be available against a donation of €10, at Il-Ħaġar Museum.

We look forward to welcoming you at Il-Ħaġar this weekend.

Godwin Vella Talk

Exhibition at Il-Muzew