It passed into the ownership of the Order in the mid-18th century, when it was radically transformed into an exuberant Rococo palace. After 1798 the stately home was used mainly as the official residence of the commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean Fleet, earning its name ‘Admiralty House’. Inaugurated in 1974, the Museum of Fine Arts, houses historic works of art and organises temporary exhibitions of contemporary art.
The greater part of the museum collection is made up of works of art that were originally displayed in buildings of the Order of St John. These were administered by the State following the departure of the Order from Malta in 1798. The collection of the paintings and sculptures was started in the early years of the 20th century. Since then, individuals and organisations have made important additions to the collection by way of donations and bequests. Significant acquisitions have also been made over the years. See also Recent Acquisitions.
National Museum of Fine Arts
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