Archaeology, Tourism and Italian Cooperation in Palestine
A summary from “Archaeology & Tourism. Italian Cooperation in Palestine”, XXIV Mediterranean Exchange of Archaeological Tourism, Paestum 27-30 October 2022.
On the occasion of the 24th Mediterranean Exchange of Archaeological Tourism of Paestum (Salerno,) 27-30 October 2022, in the frame of the Cafasso Tobacco Factory, the international conference entitled “Archaeology & Tourism. Italian Cooperation in Palestine” took place.
The meeting was promoted by the University of Rome «La Sapienza» in the framework of cooperation activities with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities – Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage of Palestine carried on by archaeological expeditions to Tell es-Sultan (ancient Jericho) and Bethlehem, supported by Office VI of the Directorate General for Public and Cultural Diplomacy of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, for the protection, promotion and enhancement of the Palestinian archaeological heritage, under the aegis of AICS (Italian Agency for Development Cooperation) and UNESCO.
The meeting was attended by Dr. Paola Ricca Mariani, Official of the area of cultural promotion DGDP – Office VI, of H.E. Giuseppe Fedele, Consul General of Italy in Jerusalem, Dr. Saleh Tawasfeh, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of Palestine, Dr. Andrea Balletta, Official of of the area of cultural promotion DGDP – Office VI, of the Director Guglielmo Giordano, Head of the Jerusalem – Palestine Office Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, and of Dr. Giovanni Scepi, UNESCO Palestine Culture Program Officer, Prof. Lorenzo Nigro, Full Professor of Archaeology and Near Eastern Art History at the University of Rome «La Sapienza» and Director of the Archaeological Expedition to Tell es-Sultan/ancient Jericho (Palestine), and Dr. Daria Montanari, Researcher of Archaeology and Near Eastern Art History at the University of Rome «La Sapienza» and Director of the Archaeological Expedition to Bethlehem (Palestine).
The day offered the opportunity to present the scientific programs and activities accomplished by the Archaeological Expedition to Tell es-Sultan (ancient Jericho), directed by Prof. Lorenzo Nigro, who has been operating on the site and in the neighboring oasis of Ain es-Sultan since 1997, to illustrate the results of the research carried out, as well as to highlight the importance of the historical-archaeological heritage preserved in this site where the multi-millennial history of man is preserved, and to outline the dissemination programs aimed at increasing awareness of the historical-archaeological heritage in the local context and the value of strategic intervention plans aimed at the inclusion of the Jericho site in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Subsequently, Dr. Daria Montanari presented the program of monitoring, protection and dissemination of the archaeological heritage of the modern center of Bethlehem and its municipality strongly threatened by the growing building activity. In particular, the cases of the necropolis of Khalet al-Jam’a and Jebel Dhaher were presented, as well as the survey project, mapping and cataloguing of sites of historical-archaeological interest in the Bethlehem area, in order to protect and safeguard them.
The conference represented an opportunity for discussion on the themes of “cultural diplomacy”, public archaeology and archaeological tourism, showing how the promotion of cultural heritage represents both a tool for tourism development and a method of protection of the heritage itself, within an important framework for tourism and archeology of the Mediterranean, such as the 24th BMTA.
Therefore, the organizers wish to thank the speakers, the sponsoring bodies, namely the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities – Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage of Palestine, Office VI of the Directorate General for Public and Cultural Diplomacy of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, UNESCO, as well as University of Rome «La Sapienza», hoping for an increasingly active collaboration between the parties.
The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation recognizes and supports, through DGDP – Office VI, the two archaeological Missions directed by Prof. Lorenzo Nigro (Tell es-Sultan/ancient Jericho) and Dr. Daria Montanari (Bethlehem) in Palestine for the year 2022.