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Commemorating the 450th Anniversary of the Great Siege

On 7 September 2015, MaltaPost will issue a miniature sheet bearing one stamp with a face value of €4.25. The stamp will feature "The Allegory of the Triumph of the Order" which is the work of Mattia Preti in St. John's Co- Cathedral in Valletta.

The battles of 1565 in Malta were the climax of longstanding hostility between the Christians and the Islamic Ottoman Empire for control of the Mediterranean. Emperor Charles V had granted Malta to the Knights of St. John in 1530 also to create a line of defence for Christian Europe from Ottoman attacks.

In May 1565, an Ottoman fleet of 40,000 men arrived in Malta and this marked the start of the Great Siege. The siege of Malta ended on the 8th September 1565 when the Ottoman troops retreated and the event is still commemorated as a National Day and popularly known as ‘Il- Vitorja'.

The miniature sheet represents part of a painting by Mattia Preti who painted the allegorical figure of Victory representing the Order, dressed in armour and helmet with a sword in one hand and the flag of the Order in the other. In the background lie wounded knights and a fortified city that recalls the Great Siege.

Each stamp measures 48mm x 39.5mm, with a perforation of 14.2 x 14.2 (comb.) bearing the Maltese Crosses watermark. The sheet measures 120mm x 80mm. Printex Limited printed the set in the offset process and the issue consists of 20,000 miniature sheet.

This philatelic issue will be available as from 7 September 2015 from all Post Offices in Malta and Gozo, online at or by mail from the Philatelic Bureau, MaltaPost p.l.c. 305, Qormi Road, Marsa MTP 1001; Telephone 2596 1740, email:

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