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Portella della Ginestra, the Memorial will be declared a site of cultural interest.

The Superintendency for Cultural and Environmental Heritage of Palermo, on the mandate of the regional councilor for cultural heritage and Sicilian identity, has started the process for the "declaration of cultural interest" of the Portella della Ginestra Memorial, in the Piana area of the Albanians, in the Palermo area. The procedure, which must be concluded within 90 days, was initiated pursuant to the Code of cultural heritage and landscape "both for its reference to history and as a unique testimony of the identity and history of collective institutions". Built between 1979 and 1980 by Ettore de Conciliis (Avellino, 1941) with the collaboration of the painter Rocco Falciano (Potenza, 1933) and the architect Giorgio Stockel (Milan, 1938), the Memorial is a recognized civil work as the first "land art" intervention in Italy, constituting an important sign of the landscape and the symbol of the memory of the first mafia massacre in Sicily after the Second World War. The work was carried out on the stony plateau, between Mount Pizzuta and the underlying provincial road to San Giuseppe Jato, where the massacre took place. On the occasion of May 1, 1947, about two thousand workers had gathered there, mainly peasants and laborers with their families, to celebrate Workers' Day, demonstrate against landownership and in favor of the occupation of uncultivated lands, as they had done since of the Sicilian Fasci.

portella della Ginestra
Memoriale di Portella della Ginestra

From the promontory above, the bandit Salvatore Giuliano and his men, armed by reactionary and mafia forces to stop the peasant movement, opened fire causing the death of eleven people (eight adults and three children) and wounding another twenty-seven. Over the years the monument has been transformed into a public space, the heritage of a community that goes beyond the borders of the territory, in which the commitment to demonstrate for rights is renewed every year. Some large boulders that resemble menhirs, placed around the "stone of Barbato", from the name of the Italian-Albanian socialist Nicola Barbato, founder and manager of the Sicilian Workers' Fasci, symbolize the bodies of the fallen. A drywall cuts the space transversely, reproducing the trajectory of the shots. The names of the victims are engraved on one of the boulders. For the Superintendence, the work presents a unique character and stands out for its emotional approach and planning that underlines the sacred solemnity of the place where the violence took place. The identity value of the installation is also enhanced by the artist's choice to involve the whole community, starting from the design and then with the creation, making use of the collaboration of local workers for the composition of the elements and the processing of materials, deliberately selected in adherence to the characteristics of the place.

The text of this article is edited by the Presidency of the Sicilian Region



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