Napoli’s Mafia Museum on the Cards

Napoli’s Mafia Museum on the Cards


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Everyone has either read a book or seen a movie about the Italian Mafia. But for those who are looking for a little more info about the Cosa Nostra and how the Italian government has made every effort to bring it down will only have to turn to a Naples-based museum that will tell of that story.
Scheduled for inauguration in 2003 the museum will be part of a bigger documentation centre featuring newspaper articles, police files, video documentaries, documents from mobsters’ trials and movies that helped fuel the increasing interest with these people and the government’s efforts to take a bite out of crime.


“We need to remember the faces, the people who have fought against the Mafia,” AP quoted Naples’ provincial chief Amato Lamberti in an interview.
Featured in the museum will be video interviews with anti-mob prosecutors Paolo Borsellino and Giovanni Falcone, who were murdered a decade ago in Sicily. These interviews will act as an homage for their sacrifice. Main objective of this museum project is to give better access to officials and others who seek more information about the Mafia and its influence on society, according to Lamberti. “We want to show things that would give an idea of how they live, of their sense of omnipotence,” he added. People will also have the chance to observe weapons used by the Mafia, in addition to hundreds of works of art seized from Mafia hideouts by police.


This would not be the first Mafia museum in Italy. In the Sicily-based down of Corleone, a museum opened its doors two years ago. Reports suggest that this town is the hometown of Salvatore Riina, the alleged “boss of bosses, who was incarcerated nearly a decade ago and convicted of ordering numerous Mafia “hits.” Naples too has its history of organised crime. Officials are looking at the Renaissance Ottaviano Castle just outside of Naples for the new museum. From what we “know” in our history books, the Mafia emerged in the 9th century. Sicily was occupied by Arab forces and many of the island’s citizens felt they had to escape to a place of refuge. “Mafia” means refuge in Arabic. Following the Norman invasion in the 11th century, the Sicilians decided to create a sense of family based on ancestry and Sicilian heritage… ergo the Mafia, an order with an hierarchy that commands loyalty, respect and secrecy.


Finally, for the record, by the term Mafia the world understands the organised crime in general, while in Italy Mafia means the organised crime of Sicily. Camora is the organised crime in Napoli region and Trangheta is the organised crime in Calabria region, while when reference is made to the organised crime in general, the term Onorevole Societa (Honourable Society) is preferred. (660)

Your comment on the handling of a …Complain by DG Competition (New Europe issue 483) was very interesting and just unveils another aspect of lack of transparency, common in many European governments. However, what the lawyer in Brussels filed with DG Competition was a Complaint, not a Complain.
No hard feelings,
John Valente,
New York, N.Y. (661)

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