The area for the construction of a cemetery for migrants in Tarsia before the start of work | Photo: PHOTO/ARCHIVE/ANSA
The area for the construction of a cemetery for migrants in Tarsia before the start of work | Photo: PHOTO/ARCHIVE/ANSA

A fundraiser has been launched to complete the construction of a cemetery for migrants in Tarsia, in the southern region of Calabria. The appeal was launched to Italian and European institutions and to Pope Francis, to complete a "great project of civility."

A grassroots initiative has been launched to raise funds to complete the construction of a cemetery for migrants in Tarsia in the Calabria region.

The leader of the Civil Rights Movement, Franco Corbelli, made the first donation, handing a check to the mayor of the municipality of Tarsia, Roberto Ameruso, during a ceremony at the construction site on June 26.

An appeal was not only launched to citizens and associations willing to donate, but also to Italian and European institutions and to Pope Francis.

'Great work of civilization'

Corbelli and Ameruso asked for aid to top officials representing the State and the Italian government, the president of the Republic, the speakers of the House and Senate, and the prime minister.

The appeal was also aimed at top European authorities: the president of the European Parliament, the president of the European Commission, as well as to the French president and the German chancellor.

"But the main hope is in Pope Francis and the Vatican," Corbelli stressed.

"The international cemetery of migrants is the greatest humanitarian work connected to the tragedy of immigration," Corbelli went on to say. "It certainly does not belong to the community of a small town, of a region or of a nation, it is a heritage of the entire humanity."

"For this reason, the top officials of the State and of the Italian and European government and the Church itself should take charge of this great work of civilization and give dignity to the victims of tragic shipwrecks (...)."

Cemetery named after Aylan Kurdi

Ameruso remembered the start of construction work on December 23, 2018, thanks to initial regional funding of about €250,000 and how work ended because the second installment of €500,000, which had already been pledged by the region, never arrived.

He said that the fundraiser was launched after a recent letter to the Calabria region for new funding received no answer.

The Cemetery of Migrants, which will be named after Syrian child Aylan Kurdi, should stretch over an area of nearly 30,000 square meters, on a hill with centennial olive trees, in front of the lake and the old municipal cemetery of Tarsia, which is partly Jewish, not far from the largest Italian Fascist concentration camp of Ferramonti di Tarsia.

 

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