Carmelo Caruana Company marks centenary with historic art donation to Malta Maritime Museum

Carmelo Caruana Company donated an 18th Century oil-on-canvas painting to the Malta Maritime Museum, the island’s largest museum. The work depicts the maritime hustle and bustle around Marsamxett harbour and Manoel Island as seen from the Valletta bastions, offering viewers a unique window into Malta’s past.

From corsairing adventures to quarantine practices and local games, the painting captures the daily activities of a busy harbour, coming together to create a rich tapestry of 18th Century life in Malta. It holds immense relevance for the Malta Maritime Museum’s collection and will become part of the museum’s permanent collection when it is re-opened. While the museum is being restored, this piece will be showcased at the Inquisitor’s Palace, a Heritage Malta historic house museum in Birgu.

Carmelo Caruana Company
Event backdrop displaying ‘Harbour Scene’, an 18th Century oil-on-canvas donated to the Malta Maritime Museum.

At a centenary celebration on October 27, Melo Hili, CEO of Hili Ventures, said: “As we gather to celebrate a century of achievements, it is important to remember that our legacy isn’t confined to the success of Carmelo Caruana Company as a business entity. It embodies the enduring spirit and values set in motion by our founder, Carmelo Caruana, back in 1923 when he began this remarkable journey. As the years passed, the company evolved to cater for different needs, however the values which underpin our spirit still ring true: ambition, integrity, and innovation. We are proud of our long-standing reputation, and this is testament to the loyalty and stewardship of Carmelo Caruana’s dedicated team.”

Carmelo Caruana Company
Melo Hili, Chief Executive Officer of Hili Ventures, saying a few words.

“The decision to donate this particular piece, driven by its vibrant portrayal of 18th-century maritime life, seamlessly aligns with the museum’s already rich narrative. As we write the next chapter in our history, I look forward to the next milestone and renew my thanks to all those with whom we share our story.”

Liam Gauci, Senior Curator of the Malta Maritime Museum, expressed gratitude, stating: “Carmelo Caruana Company’s significant contribution adds a valuable piece to our collection, enhancing our ability to showcase the Island’s maritime history. We appreciate the company’s commitment to preserving and sharing our rich heritage.”

Today, the company oversees operations in the ports of Valletta and Marsaxlokk and offers a diverse array of maritime services.

As Carmelo Caruana Company enters its next chapter, it has joined a newly formed group of companies, Breakwater Investments – a subsidiary of Hili Ventures. With a recently appointed board of directors and leadership team, Breakwater Investments specialises in engineering, shipping & logistics, and oil & gas operations across continents, and is destined to take its businesses, including Carmelo Caruana Company, to new heights.

 Carmelo Caruana Company
From left to right: Beppe Hili, Lilla Cutajar, Annabel, Melo, Peter and Mark Hili.

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