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“Average small museum”

National Museum of Natural History
Ranked #13 of 22 things to do in Mdina
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Attraction details
Owner description: OPEN MONDAY - SUNDAY from 09.00 Till 17.00Hrs (last admission at 16.30Hrs). The National Museum of Natural History, situated within the Vilhena Palace, including display areas that cover various topics such as Maltese Geology and Palaeontology, exotic mammals, marine fauna, insects, shells and birds and other topics like human evolution.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Average small museum”
Reviewed March 30, 2012

I'm not really into natural history and found the geology section the most interesting part of the museum. The bald displays of butterflies, fish, stuffed birds, etc all seems a bit old-fashioned now.

Visited March 2012
Thank MrPokey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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171 reviews from our community

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Derry, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 248 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2011

We went to the Natural History Museum just inside the gateway of Mdina with open minds. Which was just as well as the place is ghastly. The interior looks like an Institution with lots of stairs and no lifts that I could see. Animals/reptiles were badly stuffed and very poorly described in the accompanying labels. Unlike most museums there were no digital presentations or visual computerised imagery used. Investment is sorely lacking. For some weird reason the female guard followed us throughout the museum!

Visited December 2011
2 Thank MrsDoherty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keighley, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“National Museum of Natural History, Mdina, Island of Malta”
Reviewed November 22, 2011

The ancient city of Mdina, Malta, is a gem. It is very beautiful and should be visited. Just inside the main gate is the National Museum of Natural History in St Publius Square. Unless you have an interest in Museology, I urge you not to waste your money going in. For a 21st century museum this is simply appalling. The presentation of the displays is stuck somewhere between the late 19th century and the 1950s. There are showcases full of stuffed animals and birds. The case with a squid in formaldehyde or something similar looked revolting, not least because there is condensation on the inside which prevents the viewer from seeing the squid. The labelling in most of the displays is generally unhelpful. There are no concessions to the age of digital presentations and computers. It is almost as though it is enough to place an object in a showcase. Visitors need explanations and nowadays they expect up-to-date visual imagery. There are lots of stairs and no lifts that I could see.

I am tempted to say that the Natural History Museum at Mdina, coupled with the National Archaeology Museum in Valleta, are national disgraces, but there must be a story behind this. I strongly suspect that one theme in the story is a lack of funding at an appropriate level, but there is also very clearly a lack of investment in museum expertise and training.

Malta is a very small island in which tourism occupies a significant part in the economy. Its museums have a key role to play in developing the economy and in encouraging visitors but it needs the political will to seek and obtain appropriate levels of investment. That expertise exists in abundance elsewhere in Europe. My advice is for the government of Malta to reconsider its heritage funding and get its act together to make Malta a world-class destination.

Visited November 2011
1 Thank Mike M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rennes, France
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Visit the museum”
Reviewed November 6, 2011

Beautifully done with small financial capacities. Interesting aspects of mediterranenan pre-historic period.

Visited October 2011
Thank Jean M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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