PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR JUSTICE, CULTURE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: 31,000 adults and students have already visited Heritage Malta sites thanks to Heritage Malta’s passport scheme

After 100 days from the Heritage Passport launch, an enthusiastic response of 7,000 students have collected their Heritage Malta Passports, and a total of 31,000 adults and students have visited the Agency’s attractions and sites.

This scheme has proven to be a positive testimony of local culture appreciation and national pride, said Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici. Through such initiatives, we keep on providing more gateways to our culture and heritage for our younger generations, for them to appreciate our history and numerous sites depicting our country’s story. We are committed to keep on strengthening our local heritage, which forms an intrinsic part of our national identity, for everyone to appreciate.

Heritage Malta’s Passport is a formidable opportunity for those students who have a love for culture and provides them and two adults with unlimited and free access to all the Agency’s sites and museums (except Hal Saflieni Hypogeum).

Heritage Malta Executive Director, Mario Cutajar spoke about the work being carried out by Heritage Malta, and mentioned how, through the cultural patrimony law which has just been enacted by Parliament, this agency has now become the major custodian of national heritage. He continued by noting how, since last year, various sites have been transferred to Heritage Malta’s custody, including Fortress Builders, the Main Guard, cisterns, and subterranean sites underneath Valletta, as well as Valletta itself, a world cultural site in its own right. Mr Cutajar maintained that this work being carried out on these sites in Valletta will also start being applied to the Cottonera region as well, after a tailored strategy by the Government for the Three Cities.

The Executive Director referred to Heritage Malta’s Passport which has proved an instant success. He said that access to a country’s heritage leads to a better understanding of everything that is Maltese, and thus reinforces our identity. Mr Cutajar concluded by saying that, although Heritage Malta’s function is to protect and conserve the country’s heritage, it is also entrusted with the higher goal of increasing appreciation of this same legacy.

Heritage Malta’s Passport is aimed for all those students who are attending primary or secondary level education, whether they are state, independent or church schools, in Malta and Gozo. The passport can be collected when visiting the Agency’s museums and sites on the presentation of Heritage Malta’s card, which has been handed to each student at their respective schools.

It is important to ensure that the students’ passport is stamped on every visit to any of the Heritage Malta locations, since these stamps are collectibles.

Ten different stamps from 10 different locations will entitle the passport holder and two accompanying adults to a Heritage Malta VISA which will provide access to a one-time free entry to a site which is not usually open to the public. The collection of 10 further different stamps of 10 other different locations, will be rewarded with two more VISAs, which will lead to a one-time free entry to two other sites which are not usually open to the public.

The final collection of 27 stamps from 27 different locations gains a VISA for a one-time free entry to Hal Saflieni Hypogeum for the student and one of the accompanying adults, or if preferred, for a Heritage Malta exclusive gift pack.

Yet this is not all, since from time to time, Heritage Malta boosts the Agency’s Passport with further incentives. In fact, all those students who will visit any of Heritage Malta’s museums and sites in Rabat and Mdina during March and present their passport, will get a free gift bag. Moreover, all those students who will be collecting their Heritage Malta Passport for the first time during the months of March and April will be rewarded with a gift book.

Source: Government of Malta