The MUŻA Concept
MUŻA is the new National Community Art Museum in Malta, opened in 2018. It forms part of Heritage Malta, the National Agency for museums, conservation practice and cultural heritage. The chosen name ‘MUŻA’ stands for the project vision - an acronym for Mużew Nazzjonali tal-Arti (Maltese for ‘National Museum of Art’). MUŻA is also the Maltese word for inspiration, besides being a clear reference to the muses that were the mythological figures from Classical Antiquity inspiring creativity. MUŻA seeks to push the limits of the traditional museum by rethinking the role and significance of a museum in the community.
The objective of MUŻA’s interpretation is not to describe the collection but to reveal meanings and relationships, enhancing understanding. All visitors have the option to decide for themselves to which level they engage with the interpretation. A selection of films and interactives reveal the artistic process, and encourage visitors to create their own artworks. These passive and interactive experiences reveal stories and encourage meaningful interpretation through participation, both for art novices and regular art museum visitors.
Works of art as displayed within the historic building, have been chosen in response to a narrative or story, and carefully located in order to create visual links and comparatives. The four narratives can be experienced both in isolation and also in conjunction with one another. The four chapters narrate Malta’s historical itineraries through the national collection. The chosen sections and subsections were meticulously addressed not only by the curatorial team but also by the public who were involved in the concept development from the early stages of the project. The four stories which MUŻA presents are Mediterranean, Europe, Empire and The Artist.