First exhibition of Maltese prehistoric art opens in Gozo


The Sunday Times, March 31, 1996

Gozo minister Anton Tabone yesterday evening inaugurated the first ever exhibition of Maltese prehistoric art at the Ministry of Gozo in Victoria.  Also present at the opening was the Minister of Justice and the Arts, Dr Michael Refalo.
The exhibition, which covers the period 5000-2500 BC, is organised by Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti and the National Museum of Archaeology with the support of the Ministry of Justice and the Arts and the Ministry for Gozo.  It will remain open daily until April 28 (except on Good Friday) between 10am and 5pm.
The objects on display are among the most significant and spectacular items of the national collection of prehistoric artefacts, including the earliest item so far recorded – impressed decorative work dating back to 6000-4500 BC.
One of the most interesting and significant items on display will be a small model of a roofed temple, undoubtedly one of the earliest such pieces so far discovered in the world and evidence of the high level of cultural and technological attainment of prehistoric man in Malta.
The artefacts on exhibition have come from Għar Dalam, Skorba, Ħaġar Qim, Mnajdra, Tarxien, Paola and Xagħra, Gozo.  They were excavated from settlements, temples and hypogea.  They are of personal, decorative, votive and funerary nature and are an indication of prehistoric man’s perception of the material and esoteric world around him.
Major attractions at the exhibition are artefacts excavated over recent years from the Brockdorff circle in Gozo and which have never been put in display here before.  These include a group of globigerina limestone sculptures depicting both humans and animals which were found packed close to one another and which may have been held together by perishable material.


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