Falconry meets Diplomacy and Arts
30/03/2019

A symbolic presentation of the “Maltese Falcon” was organized on March 29th 2019 as a culmination of the 50th anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Malta and Spain. This event took place under the distinguished patronage of H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta, at Verdala Palace.
 
In her speech, H.E the Ambassador showed her great pleasure to participate, under the auspices of the Presidency, on this symbolic presentation of how falconry met diplomacy and arts, and seized the opportunity to stress the willingness to establish closer ties for the future as well as to thank the President for her valuable contribution during her tenure next to completion.
 
1283, when Peter the Great of Aragon won Malta and Gozo to the Angevins and secured Malta as part of the Aragonese first, and then Spanish territories in the Mediterranean for the following centuries.
 
Later on, in 1530, Malta´s destiny took an independent course that would enhance its relevance and individuality. The arrival of the Order of Saint John was a decisive development for Malta´s singularity. Expelled from Rhodes, the Knights arrived in Malta when the Spanish King and Emperor Charles the V signed the Act of Donation of Malta, Gozo and Tripoli to the Order, under the sole acknowledgement of a falcon to be paid every year.
 
With this exchange, the falcon became the highest possible diplomatic symbol of an alliance.
 
The commemoration was possible thanks to the collaboration of the Real Gremio de Halconeros del Reino de España and more in particular Mr. Antonio de Castro García de Tejada, Halconer
o Mayor.
 
H.E. Marchesino Daniel de Petri Testaferrata, President of the Maltese Association of the Order of Malta, presented the falcon to the Ambassador in the presence of H.E. the President.
 
The Instituto Geográfico Nacional of Madrid provided an exact facsimile of a nautical chart of the original Atlas of Fernao Vaz Dourado, dated 1571, that describes the North of African and Western Mediterranean coasts where Malta is painted in gold to show its importance. This nautical chart was presented as a gift from the Ambassador to the President.
 
A falconry photograph exhibition by Italian artist Serena Galvani was installed for this occasion at Verdala Palace.

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