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The Pontifical Commission Sacred Archaeology at the 25th Mediterranean Exchange of Archaeological Tourism (Paestum)

Vatican City, 31 October 2023

The Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology, the Holy See entity responsible for the entrusted with the protection, custody and valorization of Italy's Christian catacombs, will participate as guest of honour at the XXV Mediterranean Exchange of Archaeological Tourism (Borsa Mediterranea del Turismo Archeologico, BMTA), which will take place in Paestum from Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 November 2023 in the location of the Tabacchificio Cafasso (Next). The only appointment of its kind, with over 8000 visitors in the last edition, the BMTA will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2023.

As part of this important event, an exhibition stand will be dedicated to the Commission, where visitors will be able to learn about the "Catacombs of Italy" project, which was also awarded a prize at the last edition of the BMTA by the president Monsignor Pasquale Iacobone, aimed at promoting the activities of the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology both in the fields of archaeology and conservation, and in the religious, cultural and tourism-oriented enhancement of the important Christian catacomb sites mainly located in Rome but also present in various regions of Italy.

The initiatives organized on the occasion of the XXV BMTA include the awarding of the “Paestum Mario Napoli” prize to His Eminence Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology, on Saturday 4 November. On the same day, His Eminence Cardinal Ravasi will give a Lectio Magistralis at the conclusion of the meeting "Museums for the enhancement of the Mediterranean cultural heritage and intercultural dialogue", to which the Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano has been invited.

Cardinal Ravasi will also preside over the solemn Eucharistic celebration on Sunday 5 November at 11 a.m. in the Basilica dell'Annunziata, adjacent to the archaeological park.

Via Napoleone III, 1 – 00185 Roma • +39 064465610-4467601 • protocollo@arcsacra.va • www.catacombeditalia.va