The Lampedusa cross
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- The Lampedusa cross
Wooden cross of Latin type made from pieces of a boat that was wrecked off the coast of Lampedusa, Italy on 11 October, 2013. The vertical and horiziontal pieces are joined with a cross halved joint. The cross piece retains scuffed blue paint on the front, upper and lower surfaces. The front of the vertical section has layers of damaged paint. The base coat is dark green which was covered with a beige colour then painted orange. The sides and back are planed down to the timber surface. There is a small hole for suspension on the back of the vertical near the top. A fragment of an iron nail survives at the top in the right side of the cross piece. The back of the cross piece is signed F. Tuccio, Lampedusa
- 2015 AD
- Height: 383 millimetres
- Width: 280 millimetres
This cross is made from pieces of a boat that was wrecked on 11 October, 2013 off the coast of Lampedusa. 311 Eritrean and Somali refugees were drowned en route from Libya to Europe. Inhabitants of Lampedusa helped to save the lives of 155 others. After meeting some of the survivors who are Eritrean Christians in the church on Lampedusa, Mr Tuccio, the island's carpenter, was moved by their plight but felt frustrated that he could not make a difference to their situation. The best he could do was to use his skills as a carpenter to fashion each of them a cross from the wreckage of the boat as a reflection on their salvation from the sea and hope for the future. A similar cross was made for Pope Francis who carried it at a memorial service for those who had perished. Mr Tuccio kindly made this piece for the British Museum to mark an extraordinary moment in European history and the fate of Eritrean Christians. It also stands witness to the kindness of the people of the small island of Lampedusa who have done what they can for the refugees and migrants who arrive on their shores.
Not on display
The cross was made and given Mr Francesco Tuccio
Britain, Europe and Prehistory
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Object reference number: MCT37669
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