Opened in 1990, the Mill – Art, Culture and Crafts Centre was founded by Gabriel and Mary Rose Caruana. The premise was to develop an independent artist-run contemporary cultural centre where modern and contemporary art, culture and crafts could be shared with visitors.
The Mill – Art, Culture and Crafts Centre is located in Birkirkara, Malta, on one of the busiest thoroughfares of the island. Possibly an unlikely place to house a contemporary cultural centre, the building is one of the old windmills built during the rule of the Knights of Malta. It was built in 1724, during Grandmaster Manoel de Vilhena’s magistracy. The building is known as Il-Mitħna tal-Maħlut, (Mitħna = Windmill; Maħlut = wheat and barley flour) and was used for over 200 years to produce flour. The Mill ceased to operate in 1929, when it followed the same fate of other windmills that had closed down due to the introduction of steam powered mills in Malta at the turn of the 20th century. After the Second World War the Mill was used by a blacksmith. For a number of years, the Mill was abandoned and in a dilapidated state, until it was restored in the mid-1980s by the Government Works Department. These works included the rebuilding of the spiral staircase and the provision of water and electricity, as well as repointing works. Following a tender issued by the Government of Malta for the Mill to be used as a cultural centre, Gabriel Caruana successfully gained the lease title for the Mill to be used as contemporary art, culture and crafts centre, which was opened to the public in June 1990. Further structural renovation was carried out in the mid-1990s by England and England with the reopening of a blocked window on the façade of the Mill. In 2012, the Mill was confirmed as a Grade 1 Scheduled Building through Government Notice 486 of 2012.
Since 2014 the Gabriel Caruana Foundation have assisted Gabriel Caruana and Mary Rose Caruana with managing the Mill with the aim to further the work initiated 27 years ago.
The Mill now holds a permanent exhibition of Gabriel Caruana, as well as other Maltese and international artists. Numerous cultural activities have been held since it opened as a cultural centre, including exhibitions, book launches, poetry sessions, and school visits.
Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays (17:00-19:00)