IMCoS MALTA SYMPOSIUM 2011
Every year IMCoS organise a Symposium in a different country this year they decided to honour us by choosing Malta as their destination. The MMS Committee prepared a programme of events and visits for the foreign participants. Well over 55 map librarians, curators, dealers and map enthusiasts hailed from places as far away as America, Russia and Australia besides Europe attended the International Map Collectors’ Society/Malta Map Society Symposium held in Malta from September 22 – 25, 2011.
The event began Thursday 22 September at the Museum of Fine Arts in Valletta with a short welcome address to the visitors by Dr Albert Ganado, the President of the Malta Map Society and Ms Bernadine Scicluna who is the curator of ‘The Ganado Malta Map Collection’ which is housed in the Museum.
This was followed by a guided visit of Dr. Albert Ganado’s 1571 home nearby guided by Dr. Ganado himself. This large home, exchanged for his collection of maps with the Maltese Government, is on one of the highest points of Valletta and commands views of the rooftops, sea vistas and harbours of Valletta and beyond.
Second Day of Symposium
The second day 23 September started with a visit to the National Library in Valletta. Miss Maroma Camilleri, the Librarian, gave a talk about the origins of the National Library, and its holdings. There was alsoan exhibition of the cartographic treasures in the National Library including several Lafreri atlases, the Arcano del Mare by Robert Dudley, the rare Spanish edition of the Atlas Maior by Bleau, and the Perez d’Aleccio and Lucini siege maps, and several other treasures.
In the evening there was the official opening of the German Maps of Malta exhibition at the MaritimeMuseum in Vittoriosa mounted specially for the occasion by the Malta Map Society.
Third Day of Symposium
The day started with a GrandHarbour Cruise to show the participants the mighty fortifications of Valletta which they had seen the days before depicted on maps.
In the afternoon after a hearty lunch at the The Chophouse, in Tigne Sliema the particpants were taken to again to Valletta to visit Casa Rocca Piccola, a typical old Valletta home, conducted by the owner, the Marquis De Piro who is also an authority on old paintings and has a sizeable collection of maps. This was followed by tea hosted by the Marquis.
Fourth Day of Symposium
Sunday 25 September 2011 started with a tour of the old city of Mdina followed by a guided tour of Wignacourt Museum by Dun Gwann Azzopardi where they have a collection of maps. Afterwards the participants saw the famous St. Paul’s Grotto which used to be visited by many travellers during the Grand Tour.
In the afternoon Dr William Zammit delivered a talk entitled ‘The Order of St John and its Caribbean Possessions, 1653-1665: A Cartographic Record’.
This was followed by a buffet and farewell drinks party at the Hotel Excelsior with presentation of a souvenir to the visitors .
Special Post Office cancellation stamp
To commemorate the event, MaltaPost used a special cancellation stamp with the wordsMaltaPost Philatelic Bureau and IMCoS INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM in a circle and with the logo of The Malta Map Society at the centre. The stamp was in use on Thursday 22 September, the first day of the Symposium, at the philatelic counter of the Central Post Office at ‘Dar Annona’ Castille Square, Valletta during opening hours (0800 – 13.00).
First Day Covers and envelopes
The Malta Map Society managed to buy first day covers of a commemorative first cover. They were put in a specially designed limited edition of 300 envelopes which were numbered and signed by the President of the MMS, Dr Albert Ganado.