Former Florio Plant of Favignana

Former Florio Plant of Favignana

The admirably restored former Stabilimento Florio of the Favignana and Formica tuna fisheries is one of the most prestigious examples of industrial archeology in Sicily, a region with an economy historically linked to the products of the land and sea.

  The restoration of the former Florio Plant in Favignana.
The restoration of the former Florio Plant in Favignana, designed by Arch. Stefano Biondo, was realized thanks to the European funds of the 2000-2006 ROP; the work, initiated by the same arch. Stefano Biondo and then directed and completed by arch. Paola Misuraca, represented one of the most significant commitments, both financially and professionally, faced by the technicians of the Superintendence for Cultural and Environmental Heritage of Trapani. A long interdisciplinary journey, during which architects, plant engineers, historians, with the support of anthropologists, administrators, graphic designers, photographers and scholars have confronted each other and jointly researched and designed, to return to the Egadi Islands, to Sicily and beyond, one of the largest tuna nets in the Mediterranean: about 32.000 square meters the total surface area, of which more than three-quarters covered; a series of courtyards around which are articulated and distributed spaces and environments varying in size and intended use: offices, warehouses, carpentry, workshops, men's locker room and women's locker room, military warehouse, hold, machinery gallery, trizzana and malfaraggio (for the shelter of boats), rooms serving the long battery of ovens for cooking tuna and, towering above it all, three tall chimneys. Area under intervention sq. m. 19,848, roofing surfaces restored 9,000 sq. m.; 27,500 sq. m. of wall surfaces restored; approx. 16,759 sq. m. of flooring; 350 cu. m. of lumber used for trusses and warping, 53,000 ml of electrical wiring, etc.

The museum spaces of the former Florio Plant in Favignana.
Former packaging warehouses, Antiquarium. Egadi archaeology collection The archaeological collection on display mainly includes amphorae of various periods (Greco-Roman and Punic) from the Egadi Sea. Also present are Greco-Roman and Punic lead anchor logs including one, of the movable (i.e., dismountable) type, which bears on one arm in relief the Greek inscription EUPLOIA meaning "Good Navigation" and symbolically protecting the vessel from possible disasters. Special finds include a 14th-century pewter flask found in the waters of Bue Marino in Favignana that still contained the original wine. Among the most interesting finds is an extremely rare specimen of a bronze rostrum recovered in the waters northwest of Levanzo. It is the lethal weapon that the ancients used to strike enemy ships and played a decisive role in the Roman victory on March 10, 241 B.C. when the First Punic War ended in the sea of Levanzo with the Romans victorious over the Carthaginian fleet.

Former hold, "Turin," video installation
The video-installation "Torino," curated by Renato Alongi, stems from a project of collecting oral testimonies presented in visual form, conducted among a group of elderly workers at the Florio factory in Favignana. The installation inhabited by 18 author-protagonists and as many narrative practices (conversations, discourses, representations) is a work aimed at constructing a space within which it is possible to explore worlds of experience narrated on digital celluloid. Microcosms of a few seconds that have the semantic thickness of precise memories. Intense close-ups, tense faces, half-smiles, glances.

Former trizzana warehouse_former women's locker room
Permanent exhibition of fine art photographs from the collection of the former Florio Establishment of Favignana and Formica tuna fisheries. Photographs by René Burri, Leonard Freed, Herbert List, Sebastião Salgado, Ferdinando Scianna The former trizzana warehouses house the first section of the permanent exhibition, dedicated to Herbert List. The collection includes the entire photographic reportage, consisting of 35 modern black-and-white photographic prints, made by Herbert List, in Favignana in 1951, during the fishing campaign of the mattanza and tuna processing. The former women's locker room houses the second section of the permanent exhibition, including black-and-white photographic works by Sebastião Salgado from the Workers series, made in Favignana in the early 1990s, René Burri's portraits of the tuna fishery in the 1950s, works from the 1970s by Leonard Freed and color works from the 1980s by Ferdinando Scianna.

Former coal warehouses, "The death room," video installation
Inside the former coal warehouses is the video installation "The death room," a sequence of large-format tulle mesh screens that takes its cue, as a quotation, from the pattern of the death room. Looped underwater images of schools of tuna are projected on these screens, awaiting their fate, which has been repeated over the centuries and of which only the memory now remains. Of reverb, from the surface, come in the distance the rhythmic chants, the waffles, the dirges of the tuna fishermen already ready to raise their nets.

Former Salt Warehouse. The tuna fishery 1924-31
An unpublished documentary filmed between 1924 and 1931 by the then Istituto Nazionale Luce, capable of having focused on material culture (production cycles) and intangible culture of tuna fishing (embedded practices and practical knowledge). Poetic document of the silent era and contemporary sounds of Gianni Gebbia together provoke an estrangement that plays by dissonance.

Favignana's former Florio Plant - hub of tourism in the Egadi Islands
Favignana's former Florio Plant is now the centerpiece of a cultural offering whose themes are the many aspects of Mediterranean history and archaeology summed up in the wonderful settings of the Egadi Islands. From the original and exemplary Paleolithic rock carvings of the Cave of Cala del Genovese that offer us stills of an extinct past when the Egadi Islands were not and vast green grasslands occupied the deep blue of today's sea between them and Trapani where deer and wild horses roamed and were prey for the first cave dwellers, we move on to the first experiences of observing the sea and its large pelagics, including tuna, painted in the same cave at the end of the Neolithic. Finally, we come to history with Punic-Roman facilities for processing fish sauce-the garum-which the ancients, especially in Roman times, were particularly fond of. Punic and early Christian hypogea rich in vestiges of ancient cults churn the rocky surfaces of Favignana where the chanting dirges that announce the annual ritual of the slaughter still echo from time immemorial.

The voices of workers or tuna fishermen arriving after the slaughters no longer echo in the Plant. No longer can you hear the cauldrons bubbling with tuna and the electric generators pacing the stages of fervent industrial life against a backdrop of vibrant and distinct Mediterranean. Today, the Florio Plant is a museum of itself, attempting to introduce the epic of a glorious past through images, sounds, films and innovative multimedia installations.

More news