Malta has opened a major new museum: MUŻA, the National Museum of Fine Art. The new space is also the flagship project for Valletta’s European Capital of Culture title in 2018. It is a new national community arts museum, housed in a historic building with over 20,000 works of art, seeking to present inspiring and engaging stories to tourists and Maltese residents alike.
The word MUŻA is an acronym which stands for Muzew Nazzjonali tal-Arti, (National Museum of Fine Arts). It also refers to the muses: The mythological figures from classical antiquity inspiring creativity and, in effect, the etymological source of the word museum. MUŻA is also the Maltese word for inspiration.
MUŻA is located at Auberge d’Italie, a historic site in Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where the first Malta Museum was established in 1924. The building was the historic seat of the Italian knights of the Order of St. John dating back to the 16th century.
MUŻA Museum is a self-sustainable, energy efficient institution with a potential zero-carbon footprint. The energy-efficient Museum, which is aided by the design and layout of the building, utilizes high energy-efficient power consumables, natural lighting and renewable energy sources, like solar panels, to promote sustainability.
In 1920 the building was also chosen as the seat of the Valletta Museum where the national collection, including what was then known as the fine arts section, was put on display. MUŻA strives to recognize the history of the collection of the Malta National Museum of Fine Arts, and the values which have shaped it over time.