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A chat with Jean-Dominique Cesari

Jean-Dominique CesariJean-Dominique Cesari is director of the Prehistoric Centre at Filitosa and president of the association Les Amis de Filitosa (Friends of Filitosa)

How was created the prehistoric centre of Filitosa?

My father Charles-Antoine Cesari bought a large estate here at Filitosa in 1946. He wanted to start horse breeding, but when he began to cut the brushwood he discovered several statue-menhirs lying at the foot of a mound within his property. He also found the remains of some ancient buildings. Mr Roger Grosjean then took a systematic dig at Filitosa. Since then, the site has been maintained by my family.

What is Filitosa now?

It is the most beautiful window open on Corsican prehistory.

How many vistors come to Filitosa each year?

Almost 500,000 in seven months, as we are open to the public from April to October.

How is managed the site?

It has always been a private site. At the beginning it was my father that funded everything. Now it is a private association, Les Amis de Filitosa (Friends of Filitosa) that manages the site. Filitosa is now in the Unesco's World Heritage Sites list. But if it is well known is because we are working a lot to promote it. Other prehistoric sites in Corsica are in care of the Region and it hasn't made the most out of them yet. But things are changing and the Region seems very interested in outlining the value of Corsican archaeological sites now.

Do you think that it would be possible to make new archaeological discoveries in Corsica?

I am sure it is. I personally know some shepherds that showed me prehistoric sites that haven't been listed yet by the archaeologists. But as these sites lie on their lands, they want to keep them hidden in the brushwood. Anyway, archaeology is a brand new science in Corsica: there is still much to be discovered.

Projects for the future?

I think that visitors need more facilities and activities, so we are planning a "son et lumière" show. Maybe next year...


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