Saturday, January 28, 2012

Italian Consul visits Roman exhibition at Musselburgh museum

Lifestyle - East Lothian News

Italian Consul General Mauro Carfagnini visits Musselburgh museum's Roman exhibition where archaeology officer Andy Robertson shows him some old Roman shoes and artifacts.

Published on Wednesday 25 January 2012 08:00

The Italian Consul General was able to follow in the footsteps of the ancient Romans during a visit to the Honest Toun.

After a tour of the newly opened Musselburgh Museum, Mauro Carfagnini found time to stop at the famous Luca's ice cream shop, with a chance to meet some of the town's more recent Italian settlers. Based at the Edinburgh offices of Italian Consulate General since June last year, Mr Carfagnini is originally from Rome and has a passion for Roman history.

Members of the Musselburgh Museum and Heritage Group were delighted when he expressed an interest in visiting their first major exhibition, "In The Footsteps of the Romans."

The story of the Roman fort and settlement in Inveresk, the display features artefacts unearthed locally — including ornaments, jewellery, gaming boards, pots and weaponry — many of which have never been seen in public before.

Among those to welcome Mr Carfagnini to the museum at 65 High Street was Councillor Ruth Currie, East Lothian's cabinet member for community services. She told the News: "The current exhibition at Musselburgh is detailing the rich heritage of the town left by the Romans. It is particularly apt that we welcome an Italian visitor to the museum today."

Exhibition co-ordinator Simon Fairnie, of the museum and heritage group, said it was an honour to welcome such a high profile visitor to the exhibition.

"The Roman fort at Inveresk, with its 500 troopers, was a very dominant presence. It was the centre of the Roman occupation in this area and an important part of the Roman Empire," he went on.

"The Italian Consul General was clearly very knowledgeable about the subject and we are delighted that he was able to find time to visit Musselburgh. He has already expressed an interest in coming back to the museum."

Mr Fairnie was pleased to introduce the consul general to some of the Burgh's well-known Italian families, including representatives of the Luca, Di Rollo, Crolla, Tesoro and Frankitti families. "These are just a few of the descendants of the Italians who settled in Musselburgh many years ago and set up businesses, many of which are still thriving," he added.

The free exhibition on the Romans runs until Easter and is being presented courtesy of the board of trustees of National Museums Scotland.