The Iconic Statue of San Ġorġ tal-Ħaġar Moved to Il-Ħaġar Museum

On Thursday 7 March 2024 the historic stone statue of San Ġorġ tal-Ħaġar was moved from its location in front of the sanctuary of Our Lady of Pompei on Dr Anton Tabone Street, Victoria, where it has stood since the 1920s, to the Museum, where it will now be on permanent display.  The relocation of the statue held all the necessary Planning Authority clearance, and the entire process was monitored by officials from the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage. A replica will hold its place and will feature prominently in the façade of the new building.  The Museum has engaged a high-powered team of experts in their respective fields to ensure the best outcome for this project. The widespread interest generated by this ongoing project evidences the value and appeal of this landmark statue, which is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, roadside statues in Gozo.

The statue was originally created for the corner of Saint George’s Street and Library Street in Victoria, but was replaced in 1925 with a larger one by Ġużeppi Agius.  An early 20th century aquarelle by Edward Caruana Dingli, now housed at MUŻA, the National Museum of Arts, in Valletta, depicts this landmark statue still in that corner.  The attribution of the toponym San Ġorġ tal-Ħaġar to the statue reflects transferal of the toponym of the church of Saint George (San Ġorġ ‘tal-Ħaġar’, therefore, ‘of the town’) to a statue that out of town led up to the church on the same street (it-triq ta’ San Ġorġ tal-Ħaġar).

The Ice Way – Alessandro Bergamini

Saturday 23 March 2024 is a special day for Il-Ħaġar Museum. In the morning at 11.00 at the Museum, artist Austin Camilleri together with photographer Alessandro Bergamini, Valerio Ballotta (GBK Malta / Culture18fineart) and Bruno Cavani (Ikos) will present The Ice Way photobook. The book is a visual narration of the expedition undertaken by the group in the region of Ladakh (in the Indian Himalaya) in order to reach the village of Karsha and its Buddhist monastery.
 
Fine art, culture, and good cuisine then come together in the afternoon of the same day at 17:00, when an exhibition of Bergamini’s photographs forming part of his award-winning project Humanity as well as of two other special projects will be launched at the restaurant Osteria Scottadito in Nadur. The same occasion will serve as the inauguration of this new restaurant.
 
Both these events will be held in conjunction with the Malta Biennale Art 2024.
 
Entrance to the Museum is free. Reservations for both events are recommended by emailing: events@heartofgozo.org.mt

The Way of the Cross

The public is encouraged to visit Il-Ħaġar Museum at the heart of Victoria, Gozo, to see the local handcrafted figurines (pasturi) exhibited in the typical Good Friday procession in celebration of the current religious Lent period.  Parishioner Mr Carmel Farrugia from Victoria is the creator of this curious exhibit at Il-Ħaġar portraying scenes from the Via Crucis.  One has to appreciate the attention he has devoted to detail especially when considering that he is handling miniature-sized clay statuettes.  Something naïve-like, unaffected, and unsophisticated emerges from the end result of his pasturi.  Mr Farrugia has patiently laid out this three-dimensional representation of the local society where religion still weaves itself around other threads forming the fabric of Gozitan life.

The Spanish Flu (1918 – 1919): The Malta – GOZO Experience

Four years ago exactly to this month the Maltese population had to face the first case of Covid-19 on the island. Continuing on the theme of pandemic diseases, Il-Ħaġar Museum will be presenting a historical lecture by Dr Mario Saliba on Saturday 16 March 2024 at 11:00 by the title The Spanish Flu (1918-1919): The Malta – GOZO Experience.  This time the lecture will delve into the medical sphere of the history of the Maltese islands, recounting the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic with specific attention to its spread in Gozo. The audience will have their morbid curiosity satisfied since the lecture will also hint at the other infectious diseases common at the time. Dr Mario Saliba will be referring to original historical documents about the pandemic.

The lecture will be in English.
 

Entrance to the Museum is free but seat reservations are recommended by emailing: events@heartofgozo.org.mt.