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10 Liri 1998, Malta

in Krause book Number: 47b
Years of issue: 1998
Signatures: Gvernatur: Mr Emanuel Ellul (1 October 1997 - 30 September 1999)
Serie: Fifth Series
Specimen of: 01.06.1994
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 152 х 72.5
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

10 Liri 1998




Turreted allegory of Malta - Melita.


10 Liri 1998


The figure of Malta (Melita) holding a rudder, representing the island in control of her own destiny.

The woman's figure was originally the work of the well-known Maltese painter Edward Cauana Dingli, who drew it for a set of postage stamps issued in 1922 following the historical self-government Constitution of 1921.


Other features include: three doves, a design adopted from the commemorative stamp issue of 1964, when Malta became independent, and which symbolizes the nation's commitment to international peace.

The emblem of the United Nations, as a sign of Malta taking its rightful place among the other nations of the world; and three mosaic designs found in Roman remains, which testify that Malta became a self-governing municipium during the Roman period of Malta's history.


In top left corner is the Bank's of Malta coat of arms.

Heraldry is essentially a system of recognition by hereditary devices developed among the knights of mediaeval Christendom. The majority of the symbols employed in heraldry have their own technical terms with French and Latin used principally in the description.

The establishment of the Armorial Bearings and Supporters of the Central Bank of Malta was a lengthy process involving registration in the official records of the College of Arms in the United Kingdom. By authority delegated to them by the Sovereign since the fifteenth century, three officers of the College, that is, the Kings of Arms, grant arms in a document called Letters Patent.

The Armorial Bearings of the Bank were duly established by Letters Patent. A formal application, known as a Memorial, was lodged in 1969 with the Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, at the College of Arms. This was done through the Windsor Herald of Arms, acting on behalf of the Bank. This Memorial gave details of the Bank's constitution, its history and the law under which it was set up. Evidence of this was provided by the Central Bank of Malta Act 1967 and the Bank's Bye-Laws.

Once the Memorial had been submitted and agreement reached regarding the design, the Letters Patent were prepared on a large piece of vellum, or fine parchment, on which were shown the Royal Arms, the Arms of the College of Arms, and those of the Earl Marshal. The text of the Patent was hand engrossed, and contains a formal description of the Bank's Arms illuminated by hand. The document is officially signed and sealed by the King of Arms.


A preliminary sketch for the Armorial Bearings of the Bank was made by the well-known Maltese artist, Chevalier Emvin Cremona. The College suggested certain re-arrangements of the original design, and on the basis of these exchanges a final version was prepared and sent to the United Kingdom. It contained, in Latin, the motto, "Fiducia Fortis" - "In Confidence Strength," and "1968", the date of the Bank's foundation.

In designing the Armorial Bearings, the artist sought to capture an element which was not only original but also expressive of the spirit of Malta. The Bank's arms incorporate items then found in the official arms of Malta. These include the mural crown surmounting the crest - symbolic of Malta's historic role as a fortress; the Maltese national colours, red and white, on the shield; the George Cross, awarded to Malta for bravery in April 1942 by King George VI, and reproduced on the Bank's shield by authority of the Prime Minister of Malta; the dolphin on the head of the key, a fish known in classical Mediterranean literature and often appearing as a prime heraldic figure; and the laurel and palm branches, symbols of honour and peace, respectively, supporting the mural crown. The horizontal key on the shield is appropriate to the Armorial Bearings of the Bank, the governing financial institution in Malta and a key to economic progress and security.

The two supporting Knights of Malta are a unique feature. The granting of supporters to Armorial Bearings is a privilege allowed only to major institutions. In the Bank's case they have a very special significance. The Knights represent confidence and strength, the two virtues which are incorporated in the Bank's motto. They also symbolise some of the greatest pages in the Country's long military history, when for more than two-and-a-half centuries Malta was ruled by the Order of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem. The plumed helmet of a knight which surmounts the shield also has a special connection with Malta. It is modelled on one found on a monument in the sixteenth-century Co-Cathedral of St John in Valletta, built by the Knights.

The official copy of the Bank's Armorial Bearings contains colours reflecting Malta's historic past. The Knights on either side of the shield are of a steely blue colour. The feathers composing the plume on each helm on the Knights' heads are in red and white, while the blades, quillons and the pommel of the two-handed swords, together with the cords and tassels hanging from them are in gold. This is also the colour of the mural crown above the crest.

A black and white design of the Armorial Bearings was first used in the Bank's Annual Report for 1970. A library painting of the final version of the Armorial Bearings and Supporters was displayed at the official inauguration of the Bank on 13 February 1971. An embossed fibre-glass version in colour now hangs in the Bank's Board Room.

Denominations in numerals are in top right and lower left corners. In center in words.


10 Liri 1998

On the right side are two doves, as symbol of peace.

7 ta' ĠunjuCentered is an Aquarell by Maltese artist Gianni Vella (9 May 1885 - 3 September 1977), dedicated uprising of 7 of June 1919 in Valetta. the painting made in 1919. Today it is in private collection.

Two works of art (Aquarell and the monument, erected on cemetery, made by Russian immigrant sculptor Boris Edwards), conceived by artist Gianni Vella (1885-1977) shape our collective memory of the June 1919 riots. For those of us whose knowledge of Malta’s post-Great War uprising against foreign domination is only second-hand, Vella’s images, hovering somewhere between myth and reality, root our imagination into something tangible.

One image, like some raw news footage, seemingly gives us a straight rendition of the trouble that took place at the Circolo La Giovine Malta on that fateful June 7. The other, a funerary monument, is that day’s apotheosis, its exalted epitaph. Between them, these two images, one narrative and one devotional, convey two facets of the heroic, if gruesome, events of 92 years ago.

On June 7, 1919, Vella was at the Circolo La Giovine Malta in St Lucy Street, Valletta, where the Assemblea Nazionale was discussing a course of action in its dealings with the British colonial government.

Gianni’s magistrate brother, Serafino, was one of the protagonists. Relations between the Maltese and the British had long gone from bad to worse but, on that fateful day, things came to a head.

Many young people congregated in Kingsway intent on setting off some disturbance. The crowd, initially quite docile, started to get agitated and restless due to the weighty presence of police and military men.

In the melee, three men got killed; a fourth, seriously injured, died some days later. Vella made a watercolour illustration as a first-hand witness at the Giovine Malta. It is an almost monochromatic, relatively large, image that captures the frantic atmosphere of the moment.

The members of the assemblea, some of whom easily recognisable, such as Filippo Sceberras (1850 -1928) and Mgr Joseph De Piro (1877-1933), are nervously trying to get to grips with a situation that had got well out of hand.

The image has all the qualities of a lived veracity, but I cannot help wondering whether Vella was being solely objective. For, like a master storyteller, he surely stoked up the drama.

He freeze-framed a number of cord-bottomed chairs (tas-sogħda) as they were about to topple over. He also included a still-life in the left foreground made up of an umbrella and a bowler hat – two objects whose intrinsic Englishness makes them stand out in a gathering of people whose political leanings were largely pro-Italian.

Vella included a seriously injured person, carried, with some difficulty, inside, and another, standing on a chair, who flags a bloodstained white handkerchief. I certainly do not question the factuality of these events; Vella must have seen it all.

But there still remains the niggling feeling that the image, made from memory by Vella soon after the event, is somewhat staged. It is Vella the artist rather than Vella the improvised journalist who is at work here.

If the Maltese had undergone a bloodied intimation of nationhood in 1919, Russia’s coming of age, starting with the 1917 October Revolution, was bloodier and longer drawn out. And as is understandable during any civil war, throngs of civilians started to escape the country, some of whom found a haven in Malta. (

7 ta' Ġunju 7 ta' Ġunju 7 ta' ĠunjuLeft of watercolor is the monument by Maltese artist Anton Agius (1933-2008) - Sette Giugno, dedicated to uprising of 7 of June 1919 in Valetta.

Sette Giugno (from Italian for "Seventh of June") is a Maltese national holiday celebrated annually on 7 June. It commemorates events which occurred on that day in 1919 when, following a series of riots by the Maltese population, British troops fired into the crowd, killing four. This led to increased resistance and support for the pro-Italian parties that had challenged the British presence on the island.

In the aftermath of World War I, with the disruptions in agriculture and industry across the whole of the continent, the Maltese colonial government failed to provide an adequate supply of basic food provisions for the islands.

The cost of living increased dramatically after the war. Imports were limited, and as food became scarce prices rose; this made the fortune of farmers and merchants with surpluses to trade. The dockyard and government workers found that wage increases were not keeping up with the increase in the cost of food. The dockyard workers formed a union in 1916, and in 1917 organised a strike after being offered a ten per cent pay increase which was generally regarded as failing to keep up with the cost of living. Some segments of the society did well economically. There was a widespread belief amongst the populace that grain importers and flour millers were making excessive profits over the price of bread. Merchants controlling other commodities also made large profits from the war, in spite of price regulations.

Political developments were also a fundamental cause of the uprising. The first meeting of the National Assembly, held on February 25, 1919, approved a resolution which reserved for Malta all the rights given to other nations by the Versailles peace conference; this would have meant independence from the British Empire. This resolution, tabled by the extremist nationalist faction led by Dr. Enrico Mizzi, was opposed to an original resolution by Dr. Filippo Sceberras which asked solely for responsible government. This moderate resolution was removed in order to secure unanimity, and to prevent a break between the moderate and extremist factions.

Extremism was also present in the crowds who, on February 25, attacked shopkeepers who had remained open during the meeting of the Assembly, such as the shop "A la Ville de Londres." The police forces had not stopped these attacks, and this played in the hands of the extremist currents in the Assembly.

The riots reflected the unsatisfactory nature of economic and political life in Malta. Economically the island had become a fortress in which a few prospered when military spending was high. Strategically, the imperial fortress was so important that political development was stifled.

The day after the attack, censorship was reinstated for political articles. In the morning, flowers and other tributes were placed in the streets where the victims had died. The deaths and injuries of so many people did not halt the uprisings. Another group attacked the flour mills owned by Cassar Torreggiani in Marsa, while other trading houses were raided in the outlying villages.

A Military Court was opened to investigate the uprising on June 16, with a court martial instituted to investigate thirty-two people who had taken part in the uprisings. For legislative matters, the Sette Giugno underlined the urgency of reform. The new Governor, Lord Plumer, recommended liberal concessions to the Maltese. The House of Commons of the United Kingdom stressed that Malta was to have "control of purely local affairs", with the Colonial Secretary sending a detailed description of the proposed constitution to the National Assembly. On April 30, 1921, the Amery-Milner Constitution was proclaimed; political censorship enforced after the uprising was repealed on June 15, 1921. The first election held under the new constitution was held in October 1921, with the Prince of Wales inaugurating the new representative chambers on November 1, 1921.

The bodies of the four victims of the Sette Giugno were placed in their tomb in the Addolorata Cemetery on November 9, 1924. On that occasion the Italian Fascist government celebrated the four victims as "martyrs" of the Italian Risorgimento and heroes of the Italian irredentism in Malta.

On June 7, 1986 the Sette Giugno monument was inaugurated at St George Square (Palace Square), Valletta. The Maltese Parliament declared the day to be one of the five national days of the island, on March 21, 1989, with the first official remembrance of the day occurring on June 7, 1989.

Recently, following the renovation of St. George Square (Palace Square), the monument was removed from the square and kept stored for quite some time. Due to great public appeal against the storage of such a nationally important monument, it was recently placed in Hastings Gardens, Valletta.

Palazz tal-Gran MastruThe upper right corner shows the balcony railing of the Grand Masters Palace in Valletta, in front of which the strikers gathered at June 7, 1919.

The Grandmaster's Palace (Maltese: Il-Palazz tal-Granmastru), officially known as The Palace (Maltese: Il-Palazz), is a palace in Valletta, Malta. It was built in the XVI century as the palace of the Grand Master of the Order of St. John, who ruled Malta, and was also known as the Magisterial Palace (Maltese: Palazz Maġisterjali). It eventually became the Governor's Palace (Maltese: Palazz tal-Gvernatur), and it currently houses the Office of the President of Malta. Parts of the palace, including the State Rooms and the Palace Armoury, are open to the public as a museum run by Heritage Malta.


On right and left sides are the acanthus leaves.

The acanthus is one of the most common plant forms to make foliage ornament and decoration.

The decoration is made by analogy with the herbaceous plant of acanthus acanthus family, native to the Mediterranean. The shape of its leaves, with a few sharp edges, resembling a bear's paw, was the basis for the drawing.

Acanthus often represents life and immortality.

Denominations in numerals are in lower left and top and lower right corners. In words lower, centered.


On 18 September 1989 the Bank issued a new set of currency notes, the fifth series. This coincided with the twenty fifth anniversary of Malta’s Independence. These banknotes, which had the same denominations as those of the fourth series, were enhanced with security features in 1994.