Communicating the Ancient Award: the ceremony at the Naxos Park on 3 September. Here are the winners


By John

Syria and Turkey, countries torn apart by the tragic earthquake last February, will be among the protagonists of the sixth edition of Communicating the Ancient Awardscheduled for Sunday 3 September at Naxos archaeological park (Nike Theatre, 7.30 pm) and inspired by the theme “Between East and West”. An encouragement to the difficult and complex post-earthquake recovery which cannot and does not want to forget the valorization of the immense cultural and archaeological heritage of the two Asian countries.

In fact, those who will receive the PCA 2023 will be Nazir AwadDirector General of the Museums and Antiquities of Syria, and the Director of the Archaeological Excavations at Troy, the Turk Rustem Aslanwho in 2018 was responsible for the opening in Çanakkale – next to the excavations of the ancient and epic city of Priam – of the new Archaeological Museum of Troy: a cutting-edge project already in the design of the structure and with an exhibition itinerary where the very rich collection of finds are combined with innovative narrative tools such as holograms, augmented reality and 3D reconstructions which, in a short time, have allowed us to double the number of site visitors.

The Communicating the Ancient Prize is organized by Naxos Taormina Archaeological Park from the Sicilian regiondirected by the archaeologist Gabriella Tiganoin collaboration with the festival Naxoslaw and with the Archeoclub Naxos-Taormina-Valle Alcantara. It was born in 2017 from an idea of Fulvia Toscanoartistic director of the literary festival, and is assigned to Italian and foreign scholars and personalities engaged in the dissemination of archaeological, historical and philological research, but also to institutions and museums that have implemented important strategies of valorisation and communication to the general public.

“Once again – commented the Regional Councilor for Cultural Heritage and Sicilian Identity Francesco Scarpinato – culture becomes a tool for reflection and dialogue between civilizations of yesterday and today: Giardini Naxos and the archaeological park with the Communicate the Ancient Award are the noble setting for a meeting between East and West in the name of love for history and the tangible and intangible cultural heritage”.

In line with the 2023 theme, “Between East and West”, they complete the list of award winners Filippo Coarelli, prof. Emeritus of the University of Perugia, former professor of Greco-Roman Antiquities, one of the first scholars who has contributed since the 1980s to the scientific dissemination of the national archaeological heritage as author and editor of the series of pocket archaeological guides published by Laterza as well as curator of the exhibition on Alexander the Great just concluded at the Mann in Naples; archaeologists Alfonsina RussoDirector of the Colosseum Archaeological Park e Massimo Cultraro, Research director of the Institute of Cultural Heritage Sciences (Cnr-Ispc), Lecturer at the University of Palermo and representative of the MUR for the Higher Education area of ​​the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), head of a mission since 2013 who studies in Georgia the relations between the Aegean world and the Caucasus in the Bronze Age; The Classical Youth Theater Festival of Palazzolo Acreidein the person of its director Sebastiano Aglianò; there City of AgrigentoItalian Capital of Culture 2025 represented by the Mayor Francesco Miccichè. Finally, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of the writer JRR Tolkien (1892 – 1973), an award will be given John Garth, biographer and leading scholar of the life and work of the great British novelist, author of the “Lord of the Rings” saga, also made popular by the film adaptation. To introduce it Oronzo Cilli, among the author’s leading experts. The winners will be given a sculpture by the master Turi Azzolina inspired by the mask of the satyr, a recurring figure among the finds in the collection of the Naxos Museum. During the evening, presented by the journalist Francesca Russomusical performances are planned Davide Livornese Duo with oriental-inspired songs and instruments. Entrance to the ceremony is free

Communicating the Ancient: collateral events to the Award

The final evening of the Communicating the Ancient Prize will be introduced by some cultural meetings dedicated to themes and scholars of the ancient world which, scheduled between Giardini Naxos (Museum and Archaeological Area) and Taormina (Palazzo Ciampoli, Ancient Theatre), will also involve the guests .

TO Giacomo Boni (1859-1925), pioneer of stratigraphic research and the first archaeologist to use aerial photography, a book is dedicated to Sandro Consolato which will be presented by Massimo Cultraro, Alessio De Cristofaro and Alfonsina Russo (2/9 Naxos Park, 6pm).

Then the goddess Isisprotagonist of an exhibition at Colosseum Parktold by the director Alfonsina Russo interviewed by the journalist Isabella Di Bartolo (Palazzo Ciampoli, Taormina, 3/9 at 10.30 am): a journey along the routes of the divinity also venerated in Taormina, where the statue of a priestess of Isis (2nd century AD) – discovered in 1867 next to the Church of San Pancrazio and exhibited at the Salinas Museum in Palermo – can be admired in the upcoming exhibition on the ancient Tauromenion on which director Tigano is working with a complex team of professionals from various disciplines; while in the afternoon at 6.00 pm (Naxos Park) it will be on stage Alexander the Great – which also marks the anniversary of his death, dated 323 BC – protagonist of the great exhibition just concluded at Mann of Naples: an emblematic and liminal figure between Western and Eastern civilizations. They will intervene Lorenzo Braccesi, Monica Centanni, Filippo Coarelli, Dario Barbera and Giovanni Sessa moderated by Grazia Salamone.

Following are three events that follow the 2023 theme “Between East and West”. The first with Giovanni Calcagno, actor and director, author of a story about the epic of Gilgamesh – the first written poem in the history of Man (4500 BC) – with a narrative, more accessible to the general public, of the Mesopotamian culture from which a show with Luigi was based Lo Cascio and Vincenzo Pirrotta (Tuesday 5/9, Naxos Park, 7pm); then the theater show “The Dervish of Bukhara”, by and with Alberto Samona, a journey with words, music and Sufi dances to learn about the spirituality of the dervishes (Sunday 10/9 Naxos Park, 9pm, free entry). In closing, a literary “first”: “The Cry of Pan” by Matthew Nucci (Einaudi), just published: a reflection onhuman being and his (lost?) animality, therefore the way in which we inhabit the world (Monday 11/9 Naxos Park, 6pm). The mini theater review completes the project Interpreting the Ancientcurated by Rete Latudini directed by Gigi Spedale, whose program – with texts rewriting the myth and concerts – kicked off in recent days and will continue throughout the month of September again at the Naxos Park.