On Being Human: Perspectives from Astronomy

Il-Ħaġar Museum and Community Cultural Centre in Victoria’s Pjazza San Ġorġ continues the series of Saturday talks programmed for this year which celebrates the tenth anniversary of its inauguration. The second will be held on Saturday 4 February at 11am.

Professor Joseph Caruana will be discussing “On being Human: Perspectives from Astronomy”. After graduating from the University of Malta, he read for a DPhil in astrophysics as a Marie Curie research fellow in a network associated with the NASA/ESA James Webb Space Telescope NIRSpec instrument. This was in Oxford where he also tutored he tutored General Relativity and Cosmology. He then took up a postdoctoral research position in astrophysics at the Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik.

Returning home, Professor Caruana now lectures on optics, astrophysics and cosmology, and the philosophy of science, having joined the Department of Physics and the Institute of Space Sciences and Astronomy. His main astrophysics research interests encompass the early universe, galaxy formation and evolution, and galactic dynamics. A widely-published author, he is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and a member of the European Astronomical Society and the International Astronomical Union.

He is thus extremely qualified to treat the stark contrast between man and cosmic grandness. Many fundamental questions still remain to be answered but successive technological innovations continually expand our knowledge of the universe.  

Attendance is free, but reservations by sending an email to  events@heartofgozo.org.mt are

Public Talk: The Gozo Airfield

Il-Ħaġar │ Heart of Gozo Museum, Cultural Centre, and Community Space is pleased to announce the first of a series of public talks for its tenth anniversary year.

In his book A Sailor’s Odyssey, British Admiral of the Fleet Andrew Browne Cunnigham – First Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope – writes, “at the Defence Committee meeting in 1938, I had pressed for airfields in Gozo to extend the defences of Malta. My suggestion was met with no response.”

In his public talk 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑮𝒐𝒛𝒐 𝑨𝒊𝒓𝒇𝒊𝒆𝒍𝒅, Gozitan poet and widely published historian and researcher Charles Bezzina delves into what five years later led the Defence Committee to change its mind on the issue, and why it was deemed necessary to construct two runways on the island of Gozo by mid-June 1943. What were the reasons that made it so essential for Gozo to have an airfield and to be built in just fifteen days?

Participation is free of charge, but booking by emailing events@heartofgozo.org.mt is recommended.

Il-Ħaġar Museum marks anniversaries

Il-Ħaġar Museum has put together a varied programme of cultural events to mark its 9th anniversary and to celebrate Malta’s finest and most eminent contemporary composer Joseph Vella on the 4th anniversary of his demise.

On Friday 18 February at 7.00pm Professor Ivan Callus delivers the Fourth Joseph Vella Memorial Lecture on the anniversary of his sudden demise in 2018.  The lecture will be followed by the opening of a documentary exhibition The Vocal Music of Joseph Vella in Audio-visual Room 2.  

On Saturday 19th at 11.00am, the Hon. Clint Camilleri, Minister for Gozo, addresses the official launch of Il-Ħaġar Gems Series no. 16 during a special Meet the Artist session in connection with Victor Agius’s temporary exhibition In Dialogue.  Later on Saturday, a commemoratory concert will be offered at 8.00pm in Aula Mgr Farrugia annexed to St George’s Basilica.

The programme of events comes to a conclusion on Sunday 20th with a thanksgiving high mass celebrated by Il-Ħaġar founder and curator Mgr Dr Joseph Farrugia with the participation of the Laudate Pueri Choir, followed by a celebratory luncheon at Ta’ Frenċ at 12.30pm.

Those interested in attending any of these events are encouraged to pre-book by sending an email to events@heartofgozo.org.mt.

Il-Ħaġar of course hosts the Joseph Vella Music Archive on Level 3, which can be visited during the museum opening hours of 9.00am to 5.00pm, seven days a week. The support of so many volunteers and institutions such as the Malta Tourism Authority and the Gozo Ministry’s Cultural Directorate should again be acknowledged.

Christmas Programme of Events at Il-Ħaġar Museum

Il-Ħaġar Museum and Cultural Centre is pleased to announce its rich programme of events for December. The programme kicks off this Saturday, 4 December, with the first in a series of three lunchtime concerts happening every consecutive Saturday leading to Christmas.  All three concerts start at 11:30.  The opening of James Vella Clark’s Recent Abstracts takes place on Saturday the 4th at 19:30.  Exhibition runs until 11 January and will be accompanied with a catalogue, number 15 in the Il-Ħaġar Gems series.  The museum will also be hosting a public session with the artist on the 13th December at 10:30.

A Neapolitan crib will be on display in Audio-visual Room 3 on Level 2 from the 11th of December, and the first centenary of the introduction by Dun Ġorġ Preca of the traditional Baby Jesus demonstration will also be marked by Il-Ħaġar, in collaboration with the Society of Christian Doctrine, with an exhibition and a public lecture.

A fundraising Sunday lunch – the traditional Ikla tal-Ħbieb – will close the season on the 9th of January of the new year.

Seat reservations for any of these events can be made by sending an email to events@heartofgozo.org.mt.

This programme of events is supported by the Cultural Heritage Directorate within the Ministry for Gozo.

Dive into History: A unique and fully immersive experience at Il-Ħaġar Museum

Il-Ħaġar Museum and Cultural Centre is pleased to host ‘Dive into History’, a Heritage Malta event led by Prof. Timmy Gambin, Associate Professor of Maritime Archaeology in the University of Malta’s Classics and Archaeology Department. The event is taking place this Saturday, 20 November, with two sessions at 10:00 and 11:00 restricted to 24 participants each.

This is an opportunity to really experience Gozo’s unique underwater archaeology: through state of the art technology, participants will actually feel they are underwater exploring deep shipwrecks. They will be able to inspect both the Phoenician shipwreck which was sunk off the coast of Xlendi and the sea life at these sites.

Reservations are on a first come, first served basis by sending an email to events@heartofgozo.org.mt. Participation is free of charge.

Tolkien Lecture at Il-Ħaġar Museum

The next public lecture Il-Ħaġar Museum and Cultural Centre is presenting will take place this Thursday, the 18th of November at 7.30pm, by Rev. Geoffrey George Attard, on English poet, philologist and author J. R. R. Tolkien.  Professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien CBE FRSL (1892–1973) is best known as the author of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

J. R. R. Tolkien: Literary Genius For Our Times promises yet another most interesting session. Canon Attard, a graduate at a number of British universities, is very interested in English culture.  

Attendance is free but seat bookings are requested at events@heartofgozo.org.mt. In the interest of all, a vacciniation certificate has to be produced at the door.

Il-Ħaġar offers L-Ikla ta’ San Martin

After the imposed hiatus, Il-Ħaġar Museum is happy to be able to resume its popular fundraising events. On Sunday 14 November at 12:30 the traditional Ikla ta’ San Martin is being held in the Dining Hall at St George’s Parish House, a stone’s throw from the museum. 

The mouthwatering menu is in the talented hands of chef Malcolm George Camilleri, and the four-course lunch includes pumpkin soup, penne with beef tagliata, slow-roasted pork cheeks and a seasonal home made dessert. Additionally, free-flowing wine and water confirm the attractiveness of the occasion. All this for just €25 per person!

This opportunity is especially unmissable since another restoration project is being launched: an important painting (presently included in the Joseph: The Silent Witness temporary exhibition which runs till 30 November) which is clearly described in the accompanying catalogue.

Do book early through events@heartofgozo.org.mt or on 79059704 since space is obviously limited. Only vaccined individuals and accompanying children will be accepted.