An investment of €35 million to establish an international center for studies, research and training of Mediterranean landscapes and roads within the former Florio factory in Favignana, with the participation of 27 scientific partners from Europe (Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Greece) and from countries such as Syria, Turkey and Tunisia Egypt belongs to the MedWays network of the Accademia dei Lincei. “Favignana MedWays”, that is the name of the project, designed by the PDTA Department of La Sapienza University in Rome in collaboration with the municipality of Favignana – Egadi Islands.
It has been proposed to the Ministry of Regional Cohesion and the South, and is a candidate for funding as part of the redevelopment and restart of sites to create innovation ecosystems in the South. If given the go-ahead, Florio’s former factory will transform into a “koinè point” of Mediterranean cohesion, in an open space to host training courses (workshops, laboratories, summer schools) and interdisciplinary research initiatives linked to the environment and landscape of Marie Nostrum.
“The inclusion of 27 international partners, including 17 university institutions and 10 civil society, including foundations and networks of expertise, testifies to the great interest and enthusiasm for this initiative, in which the Mediterranean region is very well represented, even outside Its limits – explains Mosè Ricci, author of the research for the Accademia dei Lincei from which the idea of the center was born – a sea that is a wonderful guide for all of us, an open book in which we learn resilience techniques, “adapting to climate change, studying the quality of life, in full accordance with what it intends to support” .
The “Favignana MedWays” project, which will include architects, marine biologists, chemists, archaeologists, art historians and those interested in the Mediterranean, has had the strong support of the Accademia dei Lincei: “I knew the project from its inception and I after its development in this field – declares Antonio Sgamilotti, Member of the Academy – I immediately represented the moment of assembling several research units, and, according to my experience, this first success will also be repeated with the birth of the Centre, which will iteratively become an important reference point for Italian and foreign researchers on Mediterranean subjects, in its complexity and scale. “.
The project submitted to the ministry also provides for the renovation and strengthening of the former Florio factory, which will house the center. In fact, a series of works will be carried out to secure the spaces, both indoor and outdoor, to enhance their usability, which will also be supported by new exhibition functions and the presence of a guest house that will be able to host scholars from everyone around the world. All interventions will be implemented in an environmentally sustainable, smart and green perspective. “The former Tonara – explains the architect Marco Scarpinato, who contributed to the formulation of the project – has great potential and the idea of the management is to make it dialogue, thanks to its history and identity, with the world, and to be fully included in the cultural circle of the Mediterranean.”
The former Florio factory, after the possible approval of the project by the Ministry, will in any case be transformed into a center for meetings and discussion on Mediterranean issues thanks to the agreement signed by the Municipality of Favignana – Egde Islands and the University of La Sapienza of Rome. “We have started this first cooperation, but the agreement is open to all partners who wish to join. Now we will also involve the University of Palermo and the region of Sicily – said Mayor Francesco Forgione – our goal is to bring life back to the former. Florio all year round, not only as a museum space visited in the summer by thousands tourists, but also as a research hub and center for academic and social experiences in the Mediterranean.”
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