Malta Biennale showcases heritage venues and installations in preview tour

Preview tour sets the tone and spirit for the dialogues and conversations audiences will get on the role of contemporary art in shedding new light on Maltese heritage

At the grand unveiling of the first ever Malta Biennale, cultural fervour kicked off in earnest with a special artistic director’s preview led by Sofia Baldi Pighi, and Heritage Malta chairman Mario Cutajar.

The curated journey welcomed both local and international guests to the heart of’s main sites, with 20 international journalists in tow, showcasing the momentous cultural event to the world, with an introduction to its themes, the heritage sites hosting the installations, the artists and their creations.

Attendees were also treated to exclusive live performances from various artists, further bringing the biennale’s themes and discussions to life in an immersive experience.

“It’s a tremendous honour to host such distinguished guests, many of whom are visionary artists and leading cultural figures in their own right, to this momentous occasion,” said Baldi Pighi, an independent Italian curator who since 2017 has been focusing on the encounter between art, historical and landscape heritage through contemporary art exhibitions, public programmes and art therapy workshops for public and private institutions.

“The preparation of this preview tour was meticulous, designed to take our guests on a whirlwind journey, where each stop adds more meaning and context to the biennale’s central theme, white sea olive groves. The preview tour set the tone and spirit for the dialogues and conversations we aim to inspire among our audiences regarding the role of contemporary art in shedding new light on our heritage.”

Day one of the preview tour centred on the diverse biennale sites in Valletta. The morning commenced with a visit to the Grand Master’s Palace hosting compelling exhibitions themed around ‘The Matri-archive of the Mediterranean’, before moving on to tours of the installations at the Main Guard and the National Library.

In the afternoon, the tour explored MUŻA, the National Museum of Archaeology, Tal-Pilar church, Auberge d’Aragon, and Underground Valletta, where additional main pavilion themes were further revealed.

The day culminated with the official pre-party at Fort St Elmo, featuring additional artworks contributing to the rich tapestry of the national and thematic pavilions.

“It’s been a pleasure getting to know our guests, sharing the creativity and incredible talent that has to offer,” Mario Cutajar said.

“The generosity of feedback we’ve received thus far is truly heartening, and it’s encouraging to see that the hard work by our team and talented artists is already sparking meaningful conversations on challenging perspectives within the Mediterranean. A heartfelt thank you to all our guests for joining us on this preview journey. We look forward to hosting more international visitors, inviting them to explore our shores, experience our unique heritage sites, and immerse themselves in the visionary artwork throughout the biennale.”

The President of Malta, George Vella, will grace the ceremony in the Throne Room of the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta on March 12, following which, the cultural feast will open its arms to the public, presenting an opportunity to explore a diverse range of emotionally enriching and thought-provoking contemporary artworks scattered across more than 20 heritage sites throughout Malta and Gozo.