Italy: Ceremony for Nuragic Sculptures of Monte Prama assembles 400 people
Around 400 people paid tribute to the remarkable conservation of the Nuragic Sculptures of Monte Prama in Sardinia, winner of an EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award 2015 and the public’s favourite project, at a ceremony held at the Civic Archaeological Museum of Cabras on the afternoon of 15 October. Fani Mallouchou-Tufano, Chairperson of the Awards’ Jury in the Conservation category, and Rossana Bettinelli, Board Member of Europa Nostra, praised this great heritage achievement from Italy and presented the plaque to Roberto Nardi, Director of the Centre for Archaeological Conservation in Rome, which carried out the project, and to Cristiano Carrus, Mayor of Cabras.
The Nuragic civilization dominated Sardinia for centuries, from the Bronze Age (1800 BC) to the 2nd century AD. This project involved the documentation, conservation, restoration and exhibition of the sculptures found in 1974 in a field at Monte Prama in the province of Oristano. The substantial quantity (25 standing figures and 13 models), dimensions (up to two metres tall and weighing 300kg) and quality make this one of the most important archaeological collections unearthed in the whole western Mediterranean region. Out of the 5178 stone fragments discovered, 1202 were reassembled into five archers, four warriors, 16 boxers and 13 nuraghe models.
During the presentation ceremony, it was noted that the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award 2015 has greatly contributed to the international recognition and visibility of the Nuragic Sculptures of Monte Prama’s programme. The significant role played by the project in the local economy and culture and the importance of proceeding with the foreseen plans, in particular with the conservation and display of the new sculptures’ fragments found during the 2014-15 excavation campaigns, were also highlighted.
Several hundred members of the local community, including dozens of children, representatives from the culture and heritage fields and officials from various local and regional institutions, took part in the celebration. Marco Minoja, Superintendent for Cultural Heritage in Sardinia, Carla Del Vais, Director of the Cabras Museum, and Giovanna Damiani, General Director of the Museum Systems in Sardinia, were in attendance.
The festivities continued with a guided tour of the Nuragic sculptures restored during the last month on exhibition at the Civic Archaeological Museum of Cabras. A special concert performed by local artists, which was organised by the municipality of Cabras, closed the event in a magical atmosphere.
The Nuragic Sculptures of Monte Prama won the Public Choice Award 2015. The project received the highest number of public votes from among this year’s 28 winners of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards. The announcement and presentation of the Award were made at the European Heritage Awards Ceremony on 11 June 2015 at Oslo City Hall, Norway. Thursday’s special event marked the arrival of the Award in Italy.