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Government confirms Fine Arts museum move

Tourism ministry reveals that Malta Tourism Authority and ministry will not relocate to Admirality House from Auberge d’Italie

Staff Reporter
21 November 2013, 12:00am
The Museum of Fine Arts' current home in Admirality House, South Street.
The Museum of Fine Arts' current home in Admirality House, South Street.


In light of a MaltaToday report revealing the move of the Museum of Fine Arts from Admirality House in South Street to the more central Auberge d'Italie, the Tourism ministry and the Parliamentary Secretary for Culture have confirmed the move.

The move was originally planned under the previous PN administration but the government, particularly the Ministry for Tourism, had announced that it would not follow through with the decision to move the Museum.

Dubbed as "Back Home Project" the government confirmed the move as orignally planned. In a sudden u-turn, the government also said that it will issue a brief explaining the new design of the Mueseum of Fine Arts. 

Whereas the move of the Museum has been confirmed, a spokesperson for the Ministry for Tourism said that the Ministry and the Malta Tourism Authority will not be moving to Admirality House, citing lack of room as the main stumbling block.

"The PN government had previously announced its plan to relocate the Ministry and the Malta Tourism Authority - both of which are currently housed at the Auberge d' Italie, but upon further scrutiny it has been realised that Admirality House is not large enough to house the Ministry and the Malta Tourism Authority and their 180 employees."

"The previous administration had also planned the expansion of the building. A nearby dwelling known as Casa Scaglie as well as another building in nearby Żekka Street had been recommended, but this move was not approved as it would have created numerous difficulties with UNESCO."

The decision by the Tourism Ministry not to follow through with the move prompted outcry among artists and local cultural operators. A petition against the decision gathered steam rapidly on social media, and a protest was also planned.

Responding to this backlash, Tourism Minister Karmenu Vella and Parliamentary Secretary for Culture Jose Herrera released a joint statement on Tuesday, 12 November stating that the decision to move the Museum had not in fact been shot down altogether and that "all options are being considered" to find an adequate space for both the Museum and the Ministry (along with the Malta Tourism Authority).

Meanwile, the Ministry also said that during the following days, various meetings with local stakeholders will be organised and it also said that it will be involved in numerous discussions so the ministry, MTA and the office for the parliamentary secretary will be moved.

 
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