18 Jun 2019
Preserving Phoenician heritage between Lebanese and Italian cities
The Lebanese city of Tyre and the Italian city of Sant'Antioco have something in common: they both sit on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and share the rich Phoenician heritage. With the twinning of the two cities formalized two years ago, there are more frequent exchanges between the two.
The municipalities of Tyre and Sant'Antioco organized a seminar in Tyre last week aimed at deepening their ties and preserving their shared archeological treasure. Tyre is the biggest city in the UNIFIL area of operation, boasting rich archeological sites, and hosts tens of thousands of tourists each year.
At the 14 June seminar, UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Stefano Del Col joined President of the National Association for the Protection of the Heritage of South Lebanon Mrs. Randa Berri, Mayor of Tyre Municipality Eng. Hassan Dbouk, General Director of Antiquities Eng. Sarkis Khoury and Cultural Councilor of Sant'Antioco Municipality Dr. Rosalba Cossu.
“Over 2,700 years have passed since the first Phoenician Lebanese founded the City of Sant'Antioco (seven centuries before the Jesus Christ), originally named Sulky,” said the UNIFIL head, who also hails from Italy. “Thanks to initiatives such as this, our ancient relationships are still alive.”
He added that UNIFIL is “very recognizant” of the importance of preserving cultural heritage sites within the Mission’s area of operation.
Addressing the same event, Mrs. Berri said: “Both (Tyre are Sant'Antioco) have deep-rooted cultural heritage, and most importantly, both complement each other in the civilized dialogue among peoples.”
During the course of the day, several academics and archeological experts discussed the ancient links between the two cities. They hailed the Mediterranean interconnection, which continues to date.
Also on display were several topographic slides of landscapes of Sant’ Antiocco and Tyre.