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Public Attitudes Towards the Display of Juvenile Mummies in the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily

SQUIRES, Kirsty, DAVIDSON, Alison and Piombino-Mascali, Dario (2023) Public Attitudes Towards the Display of Juvenile Mummies in the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily. International Journal of Heritage Studies. ISSN 1352-7258 (In Press)

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Abstract or description

The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo are one of the most visited sites on the island of Sicily and are home to one of the world’s largest assemblages of human mummies. Within the framework of a multidisciplinary project aimed at investigating the biohistories of non-adults buried at this site, the authors wished to better understand how visitors felt about the display of these young individuals and whether they had prior knowledge of these mummies before their visit. In order to capture guest feedback, questionnaires were distributed to 105 visitors in September 2022. While there were no clear-cut patterns based on the demographic and social attributes of visitors, this research revealed some recurring themes. Several visitors felt that there should be signs warning guests of the Children’s Room due to the large number of young individuals displayed in this area. Furthermore, visitors felt that more information was needed throughout the site and queried whether the non-adults, or their kin, had consented to their display. These issues could be addressed by the inclusion of information boards in the catacombs. The findings of this research ultimately have implications for the way in which non-adult remains are displayed in catacombs and other heritage contexts.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mummies, juveniles, display, tourism, Capuchin Catacombs
Faculty: School of Law, Policing and Forensics > Forensic Sciences and Policing
Depositing User: Kirsty SQUIRES
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2024 14:28
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2024 14:28

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