“Sebastiya, the fruits of history and the memory of John the Baptist”: great success for the exhibition in Florence.

Giacomo Pizzi3 November 2011

A beautiful inaugural conference for the photographic and video exhibition “Sebastiya, the fruits of history and the memory of John the Baptist”.

Present at the event were Andrea Barducci, President of the Province of Florence, Sabri Ateyeh, Ambassador of the Palestinian National Authority in Italy, Monsignor Luciano Giovannetti, President of the John Paul II Foundation, Monsignor Giuseppe Betori, Archbishop of Florence, Flavio Lotti, Director of the Coordinamento Nazionale Enti Locali per la Pace, Filippo Balistreri from the Medina Association and Abed Daas, Representative of the Palestinian Community in Tuscany. A video message was also presented from the architect Osama Hamdan, a collaborator with ATS pro Terra Sancta who is in charge of the excavations in the village of Sebastiya.

The exhibition, on display until 6 November, is being held in the splendid setting of the Medici Riccardi Palace in Florence, and has been made possible through the support of the Province of Florence, the Archdiocese of Florence and the John Paul II Foundation.

There has been a continual stream of visitors since the day of the inauguration, as a Palestinian-Florentine friend has described for us: “Each day I pass by the site of the exhibition and see tourists from all over the world”.

As explained by the president of the Province of Florence, Andrea Barducci, “the objective of the exhibition is to tell the story of Palestine from a different angle – artistic, historical, cultural.”

Through a mixture of photos, videos and explanatory sessions, the visitor is introduced to the immense historical, archaeological and artistic riches of the small village of Sebastiya, while at the same time retracing the important changes experienced by the village in recent years as a result of the project carried out by ATS pro Terra Sancta – with the support of numerous donors, including Italian Development Cooperation, the Cariplo Foundation and the Lombardy Region of Italy – to enhance Sebastiya’s historical center in a manner directly involving the local population.

For additional articles (in Italian) about the exhibition “Sebastiya, the fruits of history and the memory of John the Baptist” in Florence: sites of Provincia di Firenze and Libero.