Joint Media Release 01B/2020 – 16 July 2020

National Development and Social Fund – Heritage Malta

‘Boethius and Philosophy’ – the latest addition to the National Collection
Preti’s masterpiece now displayed to the public

Mattia Preti’s ‘Boethius and Philosophy’, Government’s latest addition to the National Collection, is now displayed for viewing by the public at MUŻA, Malta’s National Community Art Museum, from the 17th until the 31st of July.

This enrichment of Malta’s National Collection was made possible thanks to Government’s acquisition of the major masterpiece just last February. The acquisition of the monumental oil on canvas for the sum of €1,323,000 during Sotheby’s Old Masters Auction in New York, was financed by the National Development and Social Fund.

“‘Boethius and Philosophy’ has strong links to Malta,” emphasised Dr José Herrera, Minister for Cultural Heritage, the Arts, and Local Government. “By acquiring it, we are returning it to its rightful owners, the Maltese people.” Minister Herrera said that this masterpiece is now officially under Heritage Malta’s wing, having been assigned with its stewardship for the benefit of present and future generations.

“This acquisition was possible thanks to our collaboration with Government and the National Development and Social Fund,” stated Anthony Scicluna, Heritage Malta’s Chairperson. “I now look forward to completing the restoration works at the Grandmaster’s Palace, so as to display this work of art where it was first originally displayed.” 

“This acquisition which is a first for NDSF falls within one of the socio-economic aims in its founding regulations. That is, to protect and enrich the cultural and artistic heritage of our country,” asserted Raymond Ellul, the NDSF’s Chief Executive Officer.

Professor Keith Sciberras, Head of the Department of Art and Art History within the Faculty of Arts, said that Mattia Preti’s painting of Boethius and Philosophy has all it takes to make it an extraordinary work: it has technical quality, a sophisticated theme, a strong narrative, and distinguished provenance.

Mattia Preti painting