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“An ancient Mediterranean necropolis described as one of the world’s greatest historical sites is being submerged beneath cement, high rise housing and rubbish dumps, according to Italian conservationists. Tuvixeddu – which means “hills with small cavities” in the Sardinian dialect – contains thousands of Phoenician and Punic burial chambers from the 6th century BC. It has long been robbed of funerary objects but some of its tombs have retained their original paintings, including “Ureo’s Tomb”, named after a sacred serpent, and “The Warrior’s Tomb”, in which a decoration depicts a warrior throwing a spear.”
This was the beginning of an article of the English newspaper The Times in 2008. The first time that a foreign newspaper turned its eyes to the biggest and unknown Phoenician necropolis of Mediterranean Sea, in the island of Sardinia in Italy. Before that article no one out of Italy had never heard about this archaeological area in the heart of Cagliari, the regional capital town of Sardinia.
Very few people know about this place even in Italy, very few people imagine that in a small angle of a not very popular town there is a place on a hill called Tuvixeddu and that this place is an ancient and beautiful necropolis more than 2500 years old.
Unfortunately the only reason why some newspaper told the story of this place is the “modern threat” of a future that seems not to have any respect for history. It’s unbelievable but the reality is that Tuvixeddu is becoming famous just for its struggle against the threat of 260 thousand cubic meters of cement.
Some years ago a project of more than 150 millions of euros has been proposed by a famous and powerful builder, Gualtiero Cualbu that seems to be a good supporter of the current regional president in office – who is of the same party of Berlusconi and was supported by the Prime Minister for his electoral campaign in 2009 with a strong advertisement -, and also a friend of various politicians of the right wing, that currently have the power and the administration of the major institutions in the island.
This “monstrous” project, supported without delay by the right parties, consists of the building of a new and functional residential area right next to the archaeological area of Tuvixeddu.
The former president of Sardinia,Renato Soru – of the left wing party-, with the support of the cultural and ecologist association Italia Nostra and the political group Sardegna Democratica, reported and stopped the building while he was in office – until 2009 – for defending the area and the treasures which are held inside the tombs and the cavities. But in 2009, after the loss of Soru, the new local government canceled the blockage and the project could be relaunched.
Some days ago the good news, the sentence of the Council of State blocked the building, saving in this way the necropolis from the cement. The struggle of the former regional president has been won, the monster that threatened this invaluable treasure – the cement – has been defeated. In a world where the respect for the ancient times and the antiquities counts less than the business and the personal and political interests this is an important conquest.
Now our wish is that Tuvixeddu could become famous for its real value and not just for its disgraces.