The Malta Maritime Museum was officially opened to the public on 24 July 1992 by the then minister responsible for Education and Museums, Dr Ugo Mifsud Bonnici, four years after the inception of the idea. An advisory committee had been set up in 1988 to assist in the setting up of the Maritime Museum and during these years several artefacts were collected from various sources. A suitable building, large enough to cater for the large maritime exhibits, was identified in the former Royal Naval Bakery at Vittoriosa, which met all the set requirements and which was then a derelict building.
The Museum aims at illustrating Malta’s maritime history from prehistory to the present day and to illustrate the fascination of the sea within the Mediterranean context, without neglecting the overall global nature of seafaring. These aims are achieved by the constant search for, identification, and acquisition of artifacts related to the museum’s mission. This task has been aided by the constant donations over these past years by the Maltese general public, foreign individuals, companies, corporate bodies, foreign maritime and naval museums, foreign navies, and Maltese and foreign ambassadors and high commissioners.
The building, designed by British architect William Scamp, was erected between 1842 and 1845 on the site of the old covered slipway of the Knights of St John. The bakery was the hub of the Victualling Yard and supplied the Royal Navy with its daily requirements of bread and biscuit. After World War II it was converted into offices and stores and as the headquarters of the Admiralty Constabulary. The building remained part of the naval establishment up to the closure of the British base in 1979.
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