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Gibraltar Archives 50th Anniversary Exhibition: ‘1,300 Years of History’

Chris Gomez

Gibraltar National Archives 50th Anniversary Exhibition | Gibraltar | Anthony Pitaluga

“Time passes, but well cared for documents change little. Evergreen recollections that belong to all of us!” – Anthony Pitaluga, Gibraltar National Archives

Commencing the 5th of November, the Gibraltar National Archives are holding an exhibition at the Gibraltar Fine Arts Gallery, Casemates square, to celebrate how the work of the past and present archivists have made the GNA what it is today.

Gibraltar National Archives 50 Anniversary

A total of 268 images from the GNA’s repository’s treasure-trove are being showcased from the 5th until the 23rd November, with a lecture series (one will be given in Spanish), a ‘Gibraltar Films’ screening and the ‘showpiece’ of the event; an oversized plan of the fortress and peninsular of Gibraltar, which includes a Spanish survey from 1865.

Reach spoke to Anthony Pitaluga, Gibraltar’s National Archivist, who explained that this project has been on his mind for several years, with a total of 10 months’ worth of preparation to put everything together.

What criteria did you use when selecting the works to be displayed?

Gibraltar Fine Arts Gallery

“The criteria used for this selection process goes down curational style… My preferred style for this exhibition is to divide it into sections; pre-16th Century to 21st Century … the Referendum, the Evacuation, the Closure etc. This event offered a blank canvas so, I intentionally chose the events that had not recently been in the public domain. Offering snippets of information and not complete stories, the idea is to encourage people to visit us and learn more.”

Aside from the fortress plans, we can expect to see 6 dioramas created by Ralph Capurro, early to mid-twentieth century lithographic objects including printing stones, metal plates with smooth surfaces, printing cubes and a selection of irreplaceable, original ‘GNA treasures’.

Deputy Chief MinisteDr. Joseph Garcia, who is also the Minister responsible for the archives said: “I must once again commend the Archivist Anthony Pitaluga for the fascinating display that he has brought together for this exhibition. It is testimony to his hard work and to that of his predecessors…”

Lecture Series Schedule

  • Tito Benady: ‘The Story of Gibraltar History or Myth’ 5th Nov
  • Juan Manuel Ballesta Gómez: ‘El Cabildo de Gibraltar 1577’ 7th Nov
  • Anthony Pitaluga: ‘Digital Preservation for the 21st Century 8th Nov
  • Clive Finlayson: ‘Mons Calpe: A Journey to the end of the World’ 11th Nov
  • Richard Garcia: Gibraltar at the end of the 189th Century’ 14th Nov
  • Keith Sheriff: ‘Freemansonry in Gibraltar’ 18th Nov

Gibraltar Films

Monday – Friday 18:30 | Saturday 11:30 – Arts Gallery

The films have been chosen based on public demand and as Mr. Pitaluga told us, “The GNA video library is impressive, I could have chosen a number of other films and presented a totally different film festival like we did in 2018. I recommend the GNA re-edited films such as ‘The Royal Visit 1954’ and ‘Gibraltar £50,000,000 fortress 1911’ and the WW2 films.”

  • The Clue of the Missing Ape (53 minutes) 8th Nov
  • Gibraltar during WW2 Part 1 (45 minutes) 12th Nov
  • Gibraltar during WW2 Part 2 (45 minutes) 13th Nov
  • Inside the Lines – During WW1, German spies will stop at nothing to spy on the allied war plans stored at Gibraltar(54 minutes) 15th Nov
  • Royal Visit 1954 (40 minutes) 16th Nov
  • Gibraltar £50,000,000 Fortress 1911 (35 minutes) 19th Nov
  • WW1 Exploits of a German Submarine U35 Operating in the Mediterranean 1917 (14 minutes) + Naval Monument at Gibraltar Dedication in 1937 (10 minutes) 20th Nov
  • Teatro Royal ‘Fieste en el Aire’ 1953 (50 minutes) 22nd Nov

Gibraltar National Archives 50th Anniversary Exhibition | Gibraltar | Anthony Pitaluga

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