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of the need to protect a vast area of about 54,000 marine hectares,  considered of particular
                importance for the marine ecosystem. Secondly, the two tonnare of the Egadi Islands were

                historically the most productive not only in Sicily but, as government data show  from the
                second half of the 1800’s, in all of Italy. Further still, the Favignana tonnara was the largest

                tonnara in Italy and represented, up until the 1960’s, the most advanced canning industry for

                the conservation of tuna as well.    Finally, the  natural beauty of  the islands exalts and
                amplifies the potential value of the museum project for the local economy since a restored

                and renovated Stabilimento Florio, serving as both a congress centre and museum, would
                attract a great deal of scientific and conference tourism activity. The Stabilimento, therefore,

                has all the characteristics and prerequisites to become the historic memory of a fundamental
                piece of Sicily’s preindustrial material culture and of its centuries-old tuna fishing economy.

                       This identarian value which I’ve hinted at obviously does not belong exclusively to

                the    tonnara  and  does not derive only from  its  functional specificity and  construction
                typologies. Other examples of Sicily’s rich identarian legacy include the network of the agro-

                pastoral homesteads in what were once the huge Roman latifondi  and the feudal estates of
                Sicily,    the  ancient  windmills of the  saltworks  that typify  the  south-western  coast of the
                Island  (from Trapani to Marsala),   and  the  sulphur mines in  the province of Agrigento,
                Caltanissetta and Palermo.  There are many different ways of interpreting the innumerable
                identarian elements present in the Sicilian landscape, but any interpretive coherency will be

                tied to the possibility  of collecting  ample data and information destined for  an  archival,
                bibliographic, iconographic and audio  repertory able to confer depth to the reconstruction

                and make the recuperation of memory possible.

                       From this point of view, the history and the economy of tuna fishing, more than any
                other activity,  have  perhaps  the greatest  amount  of available documentary  evidence.  The

                sources include accountant registers, diaries of the raisi (indisputable leader of the tonnara
                workers on land  and sea),  and  notary  contracts  that  regulated individual and collective

                relations. There are also fiscal records and reports compiled by experts and technicians as
                well as  legal documents recording  disputes between owners and managers of the  tonnare

                quarrelling over  territorial  fishing  rights.  Whereas  the archives of numerous  19   century

            17  P. Pavesi, “Relazione alla Commissione Reale per le Tonnare”, cit., pp. 101-109.
            18  G. Valussi, La casa rurale nella Sicilia occidentale, L. Olschki, Firenze, 1968; B. Spano, “La casa del latifondo
            centro-meridionale”, in Case contadine, Touring Club Italiano, Milano, 1979, pp. 164-197.
            19  G. Mondini, Le saline della provincia di Trapani, Trapani, 1881; G. Bufalino, Saline di Sicilia, Sellerio, Palermo,
            1988; S. Costanza, Tra Sicilia e Africa. Trapani. Storia di una città mediterranea, Corrao, Trapani, 2005.
            20   S. Addamo,  Zolfare di Sicilia, Sellerio,  Palermo, 1989; G. Barone  –  C. Torrisi (edited by),  Economia e società
            nell’area dello zolfo, S. Sciascia, Caltanissetta-Roma, 1989.

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