Paestum Exchange celebrates 20th anniversary 'in Arabic'

Initiative launched to promote dialogue

05 October, 09:20

    (ANSAmed) - NAPLES, OCTOBER 5 - The Mediterranean Exchange of Archaeological Tourism (BMTA), an annual international event in Paestum dedicated to archaeological heritage, will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year "speaking Arabic", in a campaign launched for the event set to take place October 26-29.

    Event organisers are inviting Arabic speakers who are interested in archaeology and cultural tourism to visit the BMTA website at or to visit the Exchange in October.

    "It's not a commercial project, but rather a cultural one," said BMTA Director Ugo Picarelli.

    "It's that of a new form of social inclusion, in the name of the Exchange's 'Mediterranean' denomination and in the name of the event's international recognition on the part of UNWTO and UNESCO as a best practice in intercultural dialogue," Picarelli said.

    "In the Salerno province as well as in southern Italy, there are thousands of Arab citizens, many of whom probably know nothing about cultural heritage, even though they live in places where their history is established and where an undeniable part of their cultural tradition fully emerges," he said.

    "Discovering it isn't only an acquisition of knowledge, but an opportunity for dialogue and sharing, aware in their own language that cultural heritage, not only that of UNESCO sites, also belongs to them," he said.

    In addition to online communications in Arabic, the event will also conduct press office activities and event promotion in Arabic with a newsletter and intense work through social media.

    Since 2015 the BMTA has annually dedicated three significant moments of its programme to the theme: the meeting "To Not Forget The Bardo Museum, 18 March 2015", in memory of the attack on the museum in Tunis, with the participation of museum director Moncef Ben Moussa; attention on Palmyra with the launching of the hashtag "#unite4heritage for Palmyra"; and a series of meetings on the destruction of cultural heritage, damaged archaeology and the disintegration of identity.

    Along these lines, this year the three children of Khaled Assad, the director of the Palmyra archaeological site who was decapitated by ISIS, will attend the event in Paestum: Fayrouz, an archaeologist; Walid, the last Director of Antiquities in Palmyra; and Omar, an archaeologist. With them will be Paolo Matthiae, an archaeologist and the director of University of Rome La Sapienza's archaeological mission in Ebla, Syria; and Mohamad Saleh, the last Director of Tourism in Palmyra.

    Paestum will also dedicate an award - the Khaled al-Assad International Archaeological Discovery Award - to the most significant archaeological discovery of the year.

    The five discoveries from last year competing for the prize are: Egypt - the boat chamber of Senwosret III and sketches of 120 boats in Abydos; France - the first Neanderthal architectural work in Bruniquel Cave; Iraq - the large Bronze Age city near the small Kurdish village of Bassetki; Pakistan - the Indo-Greek city of Bazira; United Kingdom - the 400 ancient Roman tablets found in the City of London.(ANSAmed).

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