Launch of book on mid-19th century photos of Malta, Schranz watercolours and Malta prints found in Athens
The book The Joannes Gennadius Maltese treasure trove in Athens will be launched by the Malta University Press on Friday 13 December at 18:30 at the National Library of Malta, 36 Old Treasury Street, Valletta.
Speakers at the launch will be H.E. the Ambassador of Greece to Malta, Demetrios Tsoungas, the four authors of the book: Prof. Arnold Cassola, who recovered the Gennadius materials in Athens, Judge Giovanni Bonello, Prof. William Zammit and Dr Theresa Vella, together with Prof. Henry Frendo in the chair.
Joannes Gennadius was born in Athens in 1844, the son of the erudite Georgios Gennadius and Artemis Benizelou, studied at the English-language Protestant College of Malta and the Lyceum of Christos Vaphas in Athens and then sought a commercial career in London. Joannes’s father died in 1854, when Joannes was ten years old. At this point in his life, Joannes was taken under the custody of John Henry Hill (1791-1882), an American missionary who had founded the well known school in Athens and who ensured that the young Joannes received an excellent educational formation at the Protestant College of Malta around the 1854-57 period.
Gennadius went on to become a distinguished diplomat. A few years before his death he donated his 26,000 volumes to the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. These volumes, which today have increased to over 115,000, are housed in the Gennadius Library, which was opened on 23 April 1926 and was named in honour of Gennadius' father, George Gennadius (1786–1854).
Together with his books, he donated 116 volumes of scrapbooks that focus on diverse topics: historical, topographical, archaeological, ethnological (costumes), architectural, art historical, history of the book, journalistic, as well as the Gennadius family.
It is in Scrapbooks Φ 32 and Φ 57 that 46 photographs of Malta (ca. 1857) and 11 Schranz watercolours, together with a multitude of prints concerning our country, are to be found. Malta University Press is publishing these Malta materials in one elegant volume.
Members of the public interested in attending the book launch can call +356 2340 2566 or send an email to confirm their presence.