The Italian military Contingent in Lebanon supports the twinning between the town of Sant’Antioco and the municipality of Tyre.

“Twinning between the town of Sant’Antioco and the municipality of Tyre”

A Sardinian delegation from Sant'Antioco and local authorities of Tyre signed a protocol of twinning yesterday at the seafront of the most important city of Southern Lebanon.


An initiative promoted by Brigadier General Francesco Olla, born in Sant'Antioco and now Commander of the Joint Task Force – Lebanon Sector West, that aimed to improve the relationship between the two Mediterranean towns and the promotion of projects on the territories, in order to guarantee a durable social, economic and cultural development.


"We have ideally travelled backwards those routes as our ancestors did many centuries ago, facing the unknown; we have reconnected and reinforced a link that has never been culturally interrupted and has led us here today to sign an important document with whom this relationship is officially and formally sealed. We are here today to look at each other and discover – or to say better, confirm – that we have many more things in common than those that divide us, in terms of culture and mental attitude. The creation of this bridge between Italy and Lebanon, between Tyre and Sant'Antioco, reminds us who we are: we are citizens of the world, we are Mediterranean, we are Phoenicians", as the National Contingent Commander stated during his opening ceremony speech.


The national delegation was constituted by Dr. Ignazio Locci, Mayor of Sant'Antioco, Dr. Rosalba Cossu, the Culture Assessor, Dr. Piero Bartoloni, the former ordinary professor of Phoenician – Punic Archaeology at the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy (University of Sassari) and director of the Archaeologic Museum of Sant'Antioco and Dr. Sara Mancuso, superintendent of the aforementioned "Ferruccio Barreca" Museum.


In two days, Dr. Dbouk, Mayor of Tyre, prof. Hassan Baddahui, professor at the University of Beirut and Dr. Helen Sader, professor of Archaeology at the American University of Beirut, have offered to the Italian guests a historical itinerary through the archaeological sites representing the Phoenix and Roman culture, during which the experts have discussed about the cultural and architectural similarities between the two towns, despite the long distance. The Phoenixes coming from Tyre founded the village of Sulki, now Sant'Antioco, between the end of IX and VIII century B.C.


Moreover the participation of H.E. Randa Assi Berri, wife of the speaker of the Lebanese Chamber and promoter of numerous Lebanese cultural and social initiatives, has been very important.

After thanking the administrators of Tyre, the local authorities and the UNIFIL Force Commander Major General Michael Beary, Mayor Ignazio Locci has claimed: "The town of Sant'Antioco and the municipality of Tyre have many aspects in common and for this reason we intend to initiate a fruitful relationship of institutional cooperation developing the 'knowledge'. The protocol of intent we are signing goes in this direction and aims to the safety, protection and promotion of our archaeological heritage, creating at the same time occasions for social-economic growth, through human assets investment to give value to the competence and ability of the local communities but also through administrative and political actions that highlight identity, peculiarity and quality of the local cultural heritage".


Among its main tasks, the UNIFIL mission, in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 1701, includes the end of hostilities through a permanent control of the Blue Line; the support to the local population through the Civil-Military cooperation (CIMIC) and to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) operating in Southern Lebanon through coordination, planning and execution of training and operating activities.