National Museum of Natural History, Malta

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National Museum of Natural History
Mużew Nazzjonali tal-Istorja Naturali
Natural History Museum Mdina (6810109710).jpg
The courtyard of Palazzo Vilhena, which houses the museum
Established 22 June 1973
Location Palazzo Vilhena, Mdina, Malta
Coordinates 35°53′06″N 14°24′13″E / 35.885°N 14.4037°E / 35.885; 14.4037Coordinates: 35°53′06″N 14°24′13″E / 35.885°N 14.4037°E / 35.885; 14.4037
Type natural history museum

The National Museum of Natural History (Maltese: Mużew Nazzjonali tal-Istorja Naturali) is a natural history museum in the mediaeval walled city of Mdina, Malta. It is housed in Palazzo Vilhena, a French Baroque palace rebuilt in 1726 by Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena to designs of Charles François de Mondion. The museum opened to the public in 1973, and is run by Heritage Malta.[1][2]

The museum gives the visitor an overview of Maltese ecosystems (both on ground and under water), focusing on endemic plants and bird of the Islands, such as the Maltese Centaury and Blue Rock Thrush.

This museum display ranks a large variety of minerals, fossils, insects, reptiles, birds, mammals, fish and sections about Geology and Palaeontology.[3]

Apollo 17 Goodwill Moon Rock[edit]

On Tuesday May 18, 2004, Malta’s Apollo 17 Goodwill Moon rock was stolen from the Museum.[4] According to an Associated Press story the Moon rock has a value of 5 million dollars (U.S), making it one of the largest valued thefts in Malta's history.[5] The Moon rock has not been recovered.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12]


  1. ^ "National Museum of Natural History". Retrieved 2014-03-09. 
  2. ^ History (old page). National Museum of Natural History. Archived 26 July 2011.
  3. ^ "Life Yelkouan Shearwater Project". Retrieved 2010-11-13. 
  4. ^ "Malta’s Moon Rock Stolen: A TINY moon rock believed to be worth £2.8 million has been stolen from a museum in Malta, it emerged today." The Sun (U.K), May 21, 2004.
  5. ^ " $5M moon rock stolen from Malta museum" Associated Press Story appearing in USA Today, May 21, 2004.
  6. ^ Ex-NASA officer urges Malta amnesty to repossess moon rock. The Sunday Times (Malta), Herman Grech, May 22, 2004.
  7. ^ Moon rock returns to Honduras. February 28th, 2004.
  8. ^ American moon rock gifts vanish. BBC, July 21, 2004.
  9. ^ In Malta, a moon-rock caper. The Christian Science Monitor, June 17, 2004.
  10. ^ Lost The Hottest Rocks on Earth. The Times, July 20th, 2004.
  11. ^ Misplaced From Space: Every Nation Received a Moon Rock, Some Can't Find it. The Houston Chronicle, May 7, 2010.
  12. ^ In Search of the Goodwill Moon Rocks: A Personal Account Geotimes Magazine, Joseph Gutheinz, November 2004.