Mont'e Prama, cardboard & abandoned shipyardsThe construction site of the Museo dei Giganti was supposed to be completed in January 2022, now it's all abandoned
The images are summaries, more effective than ever for understanding and judging. The responsibilities and attempts to pass the buck between institutions are of little interest. One fact is certain: in these three photos there is the recent history of one of the most important archaeological finds in the Mediterranean, that of the Giants of Mont'e Prama. Above is a photo "stolen" inside the endless construction site of the Museum of the Giants in Cabras. On the external sign it says that the construction site started on January 28, 2020. Three years ago. It was supposed to be completed on January 22, 2022. We are over a year late and the construction site is abandoned. No one works there for a long time. Below is the photo of the sign, still placed at the entrance to the Mont'e Prama site which shamefully indicates that area as "Romanesque". In the photo on the right, the cardboard wall built for Archeologika 2022, 167 thousand euros of cardboard. The modern history of the Giants of Mont'e Prama.
We have received four requests for rectification, sent by the Mont'e Prama Foundation, in relation to the investigation by our newspaper on the expenses incurred for the organization of the "Archeologika 2022" fair and on the management of the Foundation itself. We publish, below, only the contents permitted according to the provisions of the Press Law. Among the non-publishable contents there are also those, according to the evaluation acquired by the newspaper's lawyers, which have presented profiles susceptible to criminal relevance pursuant to article 8 of the aforementioned Law.
On the article dated January 25:
The Foundation's Memorandum of Association specifically attributes to it the mission of enhancing and promoting the archaeological assets entrusted to it. Therefore preparing projects, finding funding, carrying out the programs, highlighting them with its communication activity. "Spending money" on events, promotions, publications is exactly his task according to the very strict observance of the law. Which was done without exceptions; the event referred to in the article referred to in the subject ("Archeologika 2022") is one of those envisaged by the Convention for the creation of activity programs to support the enhancement, promotion and communication of cultural tourism, signed on 15 December 2021 between the regional councilor for tourism and the Mont'e Prama Foundation. And the demonstration was held in connection with the offices of the Department.
On the article dated January 26:
The tables with the individual cost centers were established with the approval of the detailed operational plan, jointly signed by the regional tourism department and the Mont'e Prama Foundation on 31 January 2022. And the economic and of the Foundation in determining the credit lines. As for the costs associated with cleaning and electricity, these were necessary because those two services were not made available free of charge. Regarding the destination for pulping of the recyclable material used, the same (editor's note: the cardboard sets used for the set-up) are adequately stored in the warehouses granted for temporary use to the Foundation by the Municipality of Cabras, waiting to be reused (precisely with a view to respect for the environment and saving public funds) during the events that will take place in the summer of 2023 in the village of San Salvatore.
On the article dated January 27:
Promotion and valorisation expenses are fully part of the Convention signed on 15 December 2021 with the regional councilorship for Tourism and of the "Grande Progetto Mont'e Prama" program, signed in December 2021 with the Regional Programming Centre; within those plans there is no sponsorship of Cagliari Calcio and Dinamo Sassari but the launch of a joint communication campaign aimed at expanding the public that traditionally approaches the world of culture, using the vehicle of sport. For this reason, in collaboration with the two companies, conferences, photographic exhibitions and "calls to action" have been organized (all well attended) at prestigious museums in Italy and Europe, on the occasion of trips to cities of art. Others will take place during the sports season in Verona, Parma, Brescia, Bari, Bologna and Milan; the purchase of advertising in national newspapers (for "Archeologika 2022") and communication campaigns are in turn part of the actions envisaged by the Agreement with the Tourism Department; for its functioning, the Foundation supports expenses (approved unanimously by the Board) for personnel and collaborators, drawing regularly from its ordinary budget; for the operation of the monteprama.it site, the Foundation took over a previous contract stipulated by the Region of Sardinia; the president (ed of the Foundation) has explicitly renounced any reimbursement for mileage or transfers for journeys made within the region and the assignment referred to (ed in the article) provides for the transfers of staff and collaborators from the museum of Cabras at Cagliari airport, on the occasion of transfers for fairs or events.
On the article published on January 22:
The Mont'e Prama Foundation did not offer concrete replies on what was reconstructed by our newspaper, however it did inform us, and we report it for completeness of information, that since November 2021 the Mont'e Prama Foundation has been working with other institutions to carry out the safety, infrastructure and musealisation of the site; that with a regional funding of 2,080,000 million euro, project assignments were entrusted and an international competition of ideas was created, which is still underway.
The content of our newspaper's investigation is confirmed from every point of view. The disastrous situation of the hill of the Giants is reiterated, the abandonment of the excavations and the absolute absence of any even minimal management of that site, even left at the mercy of those who, with obvious signs, catalog that area among the Templars' Itineraries Romanesque.
It is noted that the Mont'e Prama Foundation has not denied a single accounting and financial item of the expenses incurred for the organization of the Archeologika 2022 fair and for the management of the Foundation itself. Therefore all the figures and expense items reported in our investigation are not only confirmed, but constitute the foundation of irrefutable facts and unappealable documents. References to the statute of the Foundation and to the same authorization procedures for those expenses are devoid of any substantive and administrative foundation. The investigation did not dwell even for a moment on the powers of the institution, but rather highlighted the priorities in spending and their usefulness.
The facts: degradation and publicity
The theme of the investigation, which probably escaped those who are clearly responsible for the degradation and abandonment of the Mont'e Prama site, is simple: a torrent of money to publicize a heritage, such as the hill of the Giants, which is abandoned and without strategy for the future. We need to take note of the facts, and this is the task of a journalistic investigation. The attempt to hide the reality of the facts with very expensive demonstrations made up of “gold cardboard” sets, television commercials and unjustified press offices cannot be overlooked. Moreover, it is completely useless to try to hide the facts, the documented ones, with controversies on which we do not intend to linger.
The numbers, the real ones
The facts are these: in Mont'e Prama for years no excavation campaigns have been carried out to expand the area of the initial construction site, there is not even the slightest care for that 8,000 square meter handkerchief object of the original excavations, no the expropriations on the areas planted with vineyards, the museum that was supposed to recompose the unity of the Mont'e Prama statuary system is left to itself, with a construction site that seems to be destined for total degradation. As regards the expenses of the Foundation, both for the Archeologika 2022 event and for the management of the institution, we only deal with facts and documents.
In a nutshell, the documents certifying that a good 168,000 euros of cardboard were spent on the scenography at the Bastione in Cagliari are incontrovertible. The Foundation claims that the choice of the cartoon was made by others. If the first rudiments of public administration were understood, one would start from a fundamental premise: the assumption of one's own responsibilities. The resolution to purchase that cardboard is from the Mont'e Prama Foundation, the 122 of 8 September 2022. If the choice of that mountain of cardboard had been imposed by someone, a transparent resolution should have explicitly written it, or kept silent or told everything to the magistrates, if there had been undue pressure on the administrative procedures. The same goes for the 70,000-euro rental of monitors, the 164,000 euros entrusted to a company in Milan to organize a few conferences on the Nuragic civilization, again for those two days, the press offices for 45,000 euros for three days, the impressive construction supervision for that fair paid 57 thousand euros to a company in Pisa, or videos and multimedia contents for hundreds of thousands of euros. In short, more than a million for three days.
How to spend
No one has questioned that the Mont'e Prama Foundation has by statute the task of "spending", our investigation, in fact, was concerned with understanding "how it spends". Like it or not, an investigation based on certified, unappealable and indisputable documents. We take note of the fact that there are initiatives to make the site safe and make it a museum, we will take care of it, starting with the failure to identify the elementary perimeter of this announced intervention. In that international competition, for those who understand a minimum of public administration, for example, even the precise identification of the area on which to design is missing. Finally, we don't have to add anything else to the news that those 167,000 euros of cardboard will be used for San Salvatore, the announcement speaks for itself. For the rest: if it were believed that there were false or defamatory news in the investigation, one can always sue, happy to be able to illustrate corporate documents and plots to the Judges.