Current Affairs
Heritage Malta buys Napoleon letter ordering the plan for Malta’s invasion

Heritage Malta has added another jewel to its national collection with the acquisition of a letter with orders by Napoleon Bonaparte on the plans to invade Malta in 1798. Bonaparte’s letter was purchased by Heritage Malta for
€60,000.

The letter, which consists of the order given by Bonaparte to General Desaix to start planning the invasion of Malta, may now be appreciated by the public. The letter was bought last July when Heritage Malta participated in a Sotheby’s auction. The letter will be exhibited at the National Museum of Archaeology during the week dedicated to the public service later on this month.

The principal curator at the Maritime Museum, Liam Gauci, said that the letter is important because it sheds light on Napoleon’s strategic mind when he gave detailed instructions to his general to invade the Maltese islands.

“The biggest ever fleet in the Mediterranean, united after the Lepanto battle was about to reach Malta; there was a forest of galleys ready for Malta’s invasion and this letter explains these events. It shows Bonaparte’s military capacities and is important for Malta, for the Mediterranean history and that of the world. We are placing Malta in this context where the revolution started and led to a modern epoch in the world”.

Heritage Malta executive director, Mario Cutajar, said that Napoleon’s letter is one of Heritage Malta’s efforts to collect the country’s historical artifacts. He said Heritage Malta is not only an agency which shows museums, but it strives to improve the awareness on Malta’s history.

National Heritage and Arts Minister, Jose’ Herrera, said that Napoleon’s letter changed forever the road for the whole people. He said that these exhibits in Heritage Malta’s national collection stimulate research and debate.