Malta’s €26m science centre prepares for 28 October launch
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Malta’s €26m science centre prepares for 28 October launch

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Malta’s first science centre, a €26m (US$28.7m, £23.5m) investment named Esplora, is fast approaching its official opening date of 28 October.

The interactive science centre is located in a former naval hospital in Kalkara. Located in town's Grand Harbour, the new attraction overlooks the historic capital city of Valletta. Esplora, which is supported by the Malta Council for Science and Technology and received €12m (US$13.2m, £10.8m) in funding from the EU, boasts four buildings, including a 11m (36ft) 4K fulldome planetarium supplied by SCISS, an outdoor exhibition space, a café and shop.

Esplora’s thematic areas include the universe, electricity and magnetism, earth science, eco-life, human biology, motion and forces, light and optics, illusions, music, nature of matter, engineering and telecommunications.

The building has been designed by Malta architecture studio DRT. Dutch design agency NorthernLight and museum technology experts Bruns have designed and built the Universe exhibition and the ground floor of the main exhibition, featuring more than 100 interactive hands-on exhibits.

The 22,000sqm (236,806sq ft) science centre and planetarium are situated on the St Salvatore peninsula in Kalkara, at the site of the Royal Naval Hospital Bighi which was built in 1832 – the largest naval military hospital in the Mediterranean, responsible for treating numerous sick and injured soldiers through the years.

The hospital relocated to Mtarfa in 1970. The medical history of Bighi will also be told through an exhibition at Esplora.

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Malta’s first science centre, a €26m (US$28.7m, £23.5m) investment named Esplora, is fast approaching its official opening date of 28 October.
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