A new museum set up in Gharb through ecoGozo funds
A new parochial museum, Ecclesia Mater, will be permanently exhibiting artifacts related to the parochial history of the village of Gharb. These exhibits are proof of thousands of years of history dating back to the Phoenicians, Arabs and the present time.
Amongst the unique attractions in this collection one can find pottery dating to the Phoenicians as well as a collection of Arabic and Jewish coins which are a proof of the trade present in this area by sea merchants. Amongst other exhibits, there is a wooden statue of Our Lady of the Rosary, paintings by local and foreign artists and a collection of silverware, which includes a unique set of chandeliers found in Gozo. One can also appreciate a number of ceremonial costumes and sacred paraments which are exhibited here. A special section of this museum has been dedicated to Mgr Nikol Guzeppi Cauchi who was born and lived in Gharb, and served as Bishop for Gozo between 1972 and 2005.
Another unique exhibit of this museum is the Decree, written in Gothic style, which was issued by the Vatican in 1774 to elevate the Parish Church to Collegiate.
“This museum, while exhibiting the locality’s history, will also serve as an added value to the tourism offer in Gozo”. This was stated by the Hon. Giovanna Debono during the inauguration of this museum organised by the Gharb Collegiate Chapter and the Qiegħa Folkloristic Group. Minister Debono expressed her gratitude to this organisation for proposing this initiative for financing under the ecoGozo sheme for NGOs. This scheme was launched by the same Ministry as part of the ecoGozo Action Plan 2010-2012.
Through this scheme, as well as the ecoGozo schemes for Local Councils and Administrative committees, the Ministry for Gozo has allocated a total of €2 million to around 50 projects which have been or are presently being implemented in various localities in Gozo. Minister for Gozo expressed her satisfaction for the uptake of these initiatives which are very beneficial to all sections of society, including children, youths, adults and elderly in each locality. The Hon. Giovanna Debono noted how apart from this financial aid of €20.000 invested in this museum, the same locality has benefitted from around another €50.000 in projects led by the Local Council and the Gharb Rangers Football Club.
On the same occasion, Minister Debono inaugurated embellishment works at the parochial hall implemented by the Visitation Band Club. Through this same financial scheme, this organisation benefitted from the installation of energy saving bulbs and installation of double glazing windows which promote sustainable environmental practices.
These two projects were inaugurated by the Hon. Giovanna Debono, Minister for Gozo and blessed by Gharb Archpriest, Mgr. Joseph Sultana. In order to commemorate these events, a literary-music evening was held at the Gharb Collegiate Basilica by the Gaulitanus Choir under the direction of Mro. Colin Attard. Mr David Apap, Gharb Major and Fr Joe Calleja, designer and curator of the new Ecclesia Mater museum were also present for the occasion.