The Cathedral Museum at Mdina traces its origins to a fabulous donation made by Marquis Saverio Marchesi, who decreed, in his last will, that once his family became extinct, all the artistic works the family possessed were to be given to the Cathedral Chapter.
This came about in 1896. The idea of turning some halls adjacent to the Cathedral into a museum matured during the 1960s. Displaying tapestries and liturgical vestments from St. John Cathedral, the old Mdina Seminary was officially opened and renamed the Mdina Cathedral Museum in 1969.
Three large halls, previously used as dormitories of the Old Seminary, now feature the earliest painted panels from the Spanish Romanesque period till the 17th century as well as a small collection of 19th and 20th century painting from both local and foreign artists. Paintings and a series of wooden sculptures donated to the Museum by one of Malta’s contemporary artists Chev. Anton Agius also adorn the halls and rooms.
In 2004, the Cathedral Archives, were moved from the Old Seminary to another building in Mdina; presenting the Cathedral Museum with new opportunities of development, refurbishment and modern concepts of museography.
The Mdina Cathedral Museum Extension at Palazzo de Piro
Three stately, inter-connecting rooms within the magnificent 17th century Palazzo de Piro, extensively restored to its original elegance and majesty, are exclusively dedicated to the Metropolitan Cathedral Chapter.
Operating as an extension to the Cathedral Museum, this wing of Palazzo de Piro features displays of artistic and historical patrimonial artefacts from Maltese parishes and other sources.