Gozo
This Gozo museum is home to an actual MOONSTONE from the 1969 Apollo II expedition
Have you been to the Gozo Nature Museum?

Joanna Demarco

Did you know that Gozo's Citadel is home to an authentic moonstone fragment brought down to earth on the first expedition by Apollo II in 1969? Collected from the actual surface of the planet, it was donated to the Maltese people by President Richard Nixon. Exchanging it’s barren home for one more than 384 thousand kilometers away, it is now tucked away in the Gozo Nature Museum, protected by the confinements of the thick fortifications.

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Apart from the incredible moonstone, the museum displays collectable flora and fauna from the Maltese islands, focusing on their natural resources and the way in which the inhabitants made use of them. The building itself - or, rather, the three interconnected buildings which form the museum - date back to the 17th century, but a wander through its halls will take you back millennia.

The architectural relevance

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The building in which the museum is homed is a good enough reason to visit the museum, besides the moonstone and exotic butterflies. Before being turned into a museum, the limestone structure had been used as an inn, and as a shelter to civilians during the aerial bombings of World War II.

A look at Gozo’s seafloor

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It is always difficult to think about how the world looked just one hundred years ago, let alone five million. But, the geology display on the first floor of the museum highlights Gozo’s ancient rock and underwater history and includes marine organisms which were deposited on the islands’ sea floor between 35 and 5 million years ago. You can also view its collections of minerals, marine life and artefacts telling the story of human and animal evolution.

A collection of butterflies

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On the upper floor of the museum, exhibits focus on the study of insects and ecosystems around the Maltese Islands. There is a room dedicated to entomology (the study of insects), where one can observe a small but impressive collection of exotic and local insects, butterflies and moths.

The museum is open from 9am till 5pm every day of the week and is located behind the Courts of Justice in the Citadel, Victoria.

17th January 2021


Joanna Demarco
Written by
Joanna Demarco

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