International Crib Exhibition at the Grand Master’s Palace

This holiday season, visit the exhibition “The Crib’s Journey with St Francis” at the Grand Master’s Palace in Valletta. Travel back in time and experience the winding streets, quaint rocky homes, flickering lanterns, and evocative landscape of the centuries-old nativity story.

Under the patronage of His Excellency the President of Malta, Heritage Malta and Għaqda Ħbieb tal-Presepji G\awdex-Malta have collaborated to create an incredible display of over sixty traditional cribs and nativity figurines that will grace one of the Grand Master’s Palace’s halls. The exhibit will include the works of Maltese and international artists and organisations, and they feature a range of mediums, such as glass, jablo, and paper mache.

This year marks 800 years since the creation of the first crib by St. Francis in Greccio, Italy, spiking a series of global initiatives in celebration of the occasion. This incident is recognized as the beginning of this beloved Catholic custom, which over time expanded throughout the world and became a standard Christmas decoration in homes. In that spirit, the International Friends of the Crib Federation is holding this exhibition. 

In addition, there will be two more displays running concurrently at the Parliament building in Valletta as well as the Agostinian Convent in Rabat, Gozo. Throughout, a variety of workshops adapted for different groups will be available, offering expert knowledge and guidance on the history and technique of making cribs. 

Furthermore, the Heritage Malta Publishing Department has commissioned a special commemorative limited edition 15-figure nativity numbered set, designed by crib master Pawlu Muscat. It’ll be “in the classic ‘tas-sold” style’, featuring all the typical characters. Plus, an educational, illustrated catalogue will be available for purchase both on-site and online at Heritage Malta’s official online store here.

The display will be open on all days from November 19 to January 21, 2024. November’s opening hours are 10 pm to 6 pm. Make sure to visit  the exhibition and prepare to be blown away. Every penny made will go toward the Malta Community Chest Fund.