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eventual abandonment of the structure. Between the 11  and 12  centuries 6 active tonnare can
                  be documented. A century later, the notary sources reported another 15 tonnare, (SLIDE 21)
                  and by the 1400’s there were at least 39 active . At the end of the 18  century, the Marquis of
                  Villabianca  counted  71  sites  of  which  only  9  –  according  to  an  optimistic  estimate  –  were
                  considered  inactive  or  abandoned .  In  the  end,  a  government  commissioned  report  on  the
                  Italian tonnare by Pietro Pavesi – completed in May 1886 – found only 21 active fishing sites
                  left in Sicily  (SLIDE 22).
                        Today,  regardless  of  the  uncertain  future  of  tuna  fishing  in  the  Mediterranean  -  now
                  mostly  carried  out  by  modern  fishing  fleets  -  there  is  a  pressing  need  to  involve  local
                  communities,  researchers  and  specialists  in  the  preservation  of  this  productive  preindustrial
                  microcosm. Clearly, traditional tuna fishing has entered a final decline in Sicily, thus making the
                  preservation of the architectural heritage of the Sicilian tonnare all the more urgent.

                        The  so-called  politics  of  “cultural  heritage  preservation”  appear  increasingly  similar  to
                  simple  declarations  of  intent  unsupported  by  rigorous  scientific  programmes  and  effective
                  strategies, and usually end up considering the issue exclusively in terms of financial feasibility.
                  The  problem,  however, is to repair the damage due to the loss of collective memory, neglect,
                  speculation  and  uncontrolled  development  along  the  coasts.  (SLIDE  23)  Furthermore,  a
                  community lucky enough to have such historic sites in its territory must know how to 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

                  12  H. Bresc, Un monde méditerranéen. Économie et société en Sicile 1300-1450, Accademia delle
                  Scienze, Lettere e Arti, Palermo 1986, tomo I, pp. 261-273; G.L. de Barberis, Liber de Secretiis,
                  edited by E. Mazzarese Fardella, Giuffrè, Milano, 1986; C. Camiliani, “Descrittione delle marine
                  del Regno di Sicilia”, in M. Scarlata, L’opera di Camillo Camiliani cit., p. 640. A. I. Amico di
                  Castellalfero,  “Relazione  istoriografica  delle  città,  castelli,  forti  e  torri  esistenti  ne’  litorali  del
                  Regno  di  Sicilia”,  in  S.  Di  Matteo  (edited  by),  Sicilia  1713.  Relazioni  per  Vittorio  Amedeo  di
                  Savoia, Fondazione Lauro Chiazzese, Palermo, 1994, p. 172.
                  13  F. M. Emmanuele e Gaetani, marchese di Villabianca, “Le tonnare della Sicilia”, in Villabianca,
                  Le tonnare della Sicilia, edited by Giovanni Marrone, Giada, Palermo, 1986, pp. 35-101; G. B.
                  Ghisio, Nuova ed esatta carta corografica della Sicilia, Roma, 31 agosto 1779, cm. 154 x 130; F.
                  C. D’Amico, Osservazioni pratiche intorno alla pesca, corso e camino dei tonni, Messina, 1816.
                  14  P. Pavesi, “Relazione alla Commissione Reale per le Tonnare”, in Atti della Commissione per
                  le Tonnare, Roma, 1889, pp. 34-35 e 47-54. R. Sarà, “Una ricostruzione ragionata delle attività
                  di  pesca  nella  Sicilia  dei  secoli  XIX  e  XX”,  in  M.  Gangemi  (edited  by),  Pesca  e  patrimonio
                  industriale. Tecniche, strutture e organizzazione (Sicilia, Puglia, Malta e Dalmazia tra XIX e
                  XX secolo), Cacucci, Bari, 2007, pp. 62-68.
                  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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