“320 years ago, these valuable Flemish Tapestries made their way by ship from Belgium to Malta,” Yossi Shoukroun, CEO of Challenge Group.
“Today, we are honoured and delighted to have been chosen to return them again to their home in St John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta.”
Similarly, their return journey was planned in collaboration with Maltese government departments and the private sector, with the same dedication and attention to detail that characterises all of Challenge Group’s logistics services.
For Challenge Airlines MT, the transport of these priceless tapestries signified both a celebration of history as well as the creation of a new historic moment: the valuable cargo was the first to be carried by airline on its inaugural flight, having been awarded its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) by Transport Malta on 01 November 2022.
As a mark of respect and in honour of the occasion, Challenge Airlines MT provided both the flight and logistical support.
Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade, Ian Borg: “It is a pleasure for us to see that, with a strong intervention from our Embassy in Belgium, through Clint Tanti and the rest of the employees, we were able to bring these tapestries to Malta without any costs for the Maltese Government. “Above all, these can now be enjoyed by the public and the tourists who choose to visit the St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta.”
Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government, Owen Bonnici: “These tapestries have been a property of the Co-Cathedral for 350 years.“The finished restoration of these tapestries is certainly a step forward for the wider appreciation as well as a unique experience for those who will see them in the coming years.”
“Not only do we have the utmost respect for this priceless and unique cargo but, in a way, these tapestries also reflect Challenge Group, since they depict Christian art scenes from Jerusalem, Israel, and were carefully woven over a period of four years in Belgium for Grand Master Fra Ramon Perellós y Roccaful of Malta,” Yossi Shoukroun. “Hence, they combine the three countries where Challenge Group has set up hubs and for which we hold Air Operator Certificates”.