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manage  its cultural heritage.  Likewise,  proposals for the creation  of specific  thematic
                museums should not become alibis for not  preserving other heritage sites  that  risk  being

                consigned to obscurity.  Sea museums,  for example, are important because they serve to
                educate people and  can  stimulate  interest  in local history,  but they cannot be expected to

                substitute for  an  actual historic site. Moreover,  though  the exhibitions,  despite the  best

                intentions,  can run the risk of simplification,   they are  much  more  effective  when  the
                original tonnara buildings are used for thematic museum exhibitions.

                       Furthermore, such a natural expository  context  permits a  more authentic
                representation of the actual work of the tonnara as well as a deeper analysis of the relations

                of production that determined and regulated human life and activity. Of course, not all the
                surviving  tonnare  can become  museums  because  ownership is often  divided,  making

                agreement about the terms of restoration impossible. It would be desirable,  therefore, that

                the communities  in which  these structures are  located create  conditions favourable  to the
                reconciliation of the needs and legitimate interests of the property owners and the proposals

                by the local authorities to protect and utilize the structures.

                       The restoration of the grand Stabilimento Florio merits special attention. This tuna
                processing plant on the island of Favignana was built in the 1880’s on the shore near the

                buildings and storehouses of the ancient tonnara. Acquired by the Regione Siciliana in the
                1990’s, it has been restored with significant EU funding (about 15 million Euro) and opened

                to the public in 2009.  In the meantime, the search for a qualified manager at a national or
                international level has also commenced.  This enormous area (about 32,000 sq. meters) is

                suitable for a variety of uses, including an already scheduled exhibition space.

                       From this perspective, next to the profit-making activities that are due to start soon –
                sports facilities, hotels, etc… – cultural objectives should also be pursued in what is one of

                the most evocative locations in western Sicily. In particular,  I believe that the Stabilimento
                in question  must become not only  the site of  a  museum  for  the two ancient  tonnare  of

                Formica and Favignana, but also the preferred site of a “Historical Museum of the Tonnare
                of Sicily” an  expository  space  that would bring together material from the  other ancient

                Sicilian fishing structures. Such a hypothesis is supported and strengthened by environmental

                factors and circumstances difficult to find or replicate elsewhere.  In the first place, it should
                be noted that since 1991 the area in which the Stabilimento is located has been enhanced by

                the creation of the “Natural Marine Reserve of the Egadi Islands.” This is the concrete result

            15  P. Frascani, Il mare, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2008 and the review of G. Imbruglia, “Il mare, la sua storia, i musei”, in
            Mediterranea. Ricerche storiche, n. 16, agosto 2009, pp. 401-407.
            16  A. Buttitta, “Introduzione”, in Esperto nella gestione cit., p. 17.

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