The letter by which Napoleon Bonaparte ordered General Desaix to plan the invasion of Malta in 1798 can now be viewed by the general public, as plans are in motion to exhibit it during the Public Service week later on this month.
Heritage Malta, the National Agency for cultural heritage, acquired this artifact in July, during an auction by renowned auction house Sotheby’s. Bonaparte’s decisive letter was acquired for the sum of €60,000.
“I fully support such acquisitions for our National Collection, for they stimulate research and debate,” stated Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government José Herrera during a press conference, “With this letter, Napoleon changed our entire course of history.”
Liam Gauci, the Maritime Museum’s senior curator, explained this letter’s significance, which, he explains: “reveals young Bonaparte’s strategic military mind, as he gave detailed instructions to his general on how to invade the Maltese islands.”
“Heritage Malta is proud to participate in the upcoming Public Service week,” stated Mario Cutajar, Heritage Malta’s Executive Director, “Napoleon’s letter, together with various unique artefacts, will be displayed in the National Museum of Archaeology for all to enjoy.”