2020 | Museum or Mausoleum – AIWM

2020 | Museum or Mausoleum – AIWM

The Association of International Women in Malta have announced that their monthly talk for March will cover the topic – Museum or Mausoleum?  The secularisation of sacred space and the loss of meaning: A case study of the Oratory of the Beheading of St John the Baptist.


Date : Thursday 26th March
Time : Welcome cocktail 1800hrs, Lecture 1830hrs
Cost : RMYC Members and their guests – €10

Payment to be made upon arrival and includes welcome cocktail.
Since this is a third party event, please email Pauline Curran, directly,  on pauline.curran@gmail.com to book your place.
Lecture booking deadline : Tuesday 23rd March


What happens to the inherent iconological meaning of artefacts, sculptures and paintings within sacred spaces, once removed from their original location? What happens to their ability to transmit their message, their view, to the observer? Is not the continuation of a religious and spiritual legacy a value in itself? To conserve an experience or, paradoxically, a “possibility of experience”, is not quite like merely conserving an oil or wall painting, or the architectural fabric of the space. There are other values to be considered, which go beyond the intrinsic historical, cultural and aesthetic value of the work itself. These “objective traditional values”, which are so often tied with the conservation priority given to the artwork are, in this case, only but a starting point leading to the most profound and subjective value of the artwork, which is an essentially intangible value. Works of art which have been commissioned to grace specific sites respond precisely to that experiential value; they seek to augment it, to make it more accessible, to transform a place into a “living” and “mystagogical” space which directly encounters and engages the present-day viewer. The Oratory of St John the Baptist at the Conventual Church of St John the Baptist in Valletta, Malta, as well as the series of the so-called “Perellos tapestries” which will eventually be displayed in the Museum of the Co-Cathedral, shall be presented as case studies.

About Giulia Privitelli

Giulia Privitelli holds an M.A. in History of Art (University of Malta), and is presently Assistant Editor at Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti.

She is also a freelance tourist guide and writer, regularly contributing culture-related articles to various local newspapers, magazines and blogs.

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