A rare opportunity! Rabat exhibition set to display Maltese silver that was originally stolen by the French
The exhibition is being held between the 23rd and 24th September.
The Archfraternity of Saint Joseph alongside the Franciscan monks of Rabat are set to exhibit the silver that was stolen from Malta when the French took over the Maltese islands 225 years ago.
This silver was going to be auctioned by the French on the 2nd September, 1798 but it was thankfully recovered back to Malta, its rightful owner.
It originally belonged to the convents around Rabat and Mdina and during the feast of the Madonna tac-Cintura it was going to be auctioned off by the French.However, thankfully the notary, Emmanuele Vitale gathered many monks and local people to rebel against this. As soon as Louis Masson, the leader of the French army that was stationed at Rabat saw the crowd, he started showing off his sword in the hopes of scaring the Maltese people. However, the Maltese showed courage and fought them back.
Two French officials were killed, and Louis Masson was found dead after he was thrown off the balcony he went to hide in. As soon as the French army saw what was happening, they closed off the Mdina gate and they started shooting at the Maltese but the crowd kept getting getting larger as people from all across the islands started gathering not just those from Rabat.
The next day, Emmanuele Vitale gathered 65 Maltese citizens and penetrated Mdina through a small and hidden door. Although a few Maltese died, all the French soldiers were killed.This eventually started the chain reaction of events that led to the revolution in Malta’s capital city of Valletta. The French were out of Malta by the year 1800.
The exhibition will be held at the National Sanctuary of Saint Joseph at the St Mary of Jesus church in Rabat as part of the Rabat Sacrum festival. You can visit this exciting exhibition on the 23rd of September from 7pm onwards and on the 24th September, from 9am to 12pm.