Sunday, 22 April 2012

"Malteses in Corfu" - an exhibition in the Palace

   There was a very interesting exhibition in the Palace of Esplanade at Easter about the corfiot maltese community. It demonstrated the history of the maltese immigrants who fled to Corfu from 1818 until 1832 invited by the then High Commissioner of the Ionian islands Thomas Maitland in order to help in the building of the Palace and other projects commisioned by the british authorities. The Palace had been built using maltese rock and the maltese people themselves by that time were famous for their building skills. Most of them lived in the neighbourhood named "Kotsela" which took its name from the island that most of maltese immigrants came from, Gozo. 
   Nowadays, the maltese community is still quite big, there are more than 3000 people of maltese origin living in Corfu. Most of them are christian catholics, they have hellenized maltese surnames but unfortunately very few of them understand or speak the maltese language. 
   Here are some photos from the exhibition which took place inside the Palace built by the maltese immigrants almost two centuries before. The exhibition featured rare photos from the everyday life of the maltese people as well as more than a century old documents such as music scores, certificates, books, passports etc.


Anonymous said...

fascinating. Another part of history I knew nothing about.

Anonymous said...

How long is this exhibition going to be on for ? My two favourite holiday Islands and I never knew of this connection. Thanks.

Giannis, an average Corfiot said...

Unfortunately it closed its doors last week - it lasted only few weeks.

Spiro Vella said...

Thanks Giannis, really interesting. Just started tracing my family tree and my great great grandfather was one of the immigrants who came across in the 19th century. I live in the UK. Shame the exhibition has closed.

Anonymous said...

Is there a way to trace back Maltese families who immigrated to Corfu. Family Xuereb is the name I am looking for.