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The Alpini Association of Ornavasso has launched the idea of starting an ecomuseum in the lower Ossola Valley, just when plans are being drawn up for a rubbish dump on the Celtic necropolises and close to the Cadorna Line.

“Five years ago, in the packed hall of the cinema-theatre of Ornavasso, the local group of Alpini (ex-members of Italian Alpine Corps- ed.) outlined to an attentive audience of citizens and politicians of all levels a project for an ecomuseum in the Lower Ossola. The idea met with a great deal of interest, but nothing concrete came of it. Evidently the time was not yet right.

Now the projected dump is reviving debate about how to look after and make the most of the historical and cultural heritage of the town, an issue which I believe all communities should take to heart. I am more than ever convinced that this is the right moment to re-launch unequivocally the idea of the ecomuseum. While it would not entail any real environmental restrictions, it would be useful in protecting and enhancing the heritage of the town, and would also eventually lead to a considerable increase in historical-cultural tourism”. So says Fermo Massimo, president of the Alpini group and outgoing deputy mayor of Ornavasso.

The project would take in, under a single cultural “umbrella”, a series of existing entities, including the Cadorna Line and the Partisan Museum, with other resources worth rediscovering such as the San Bernardo and In persona Celtic-Roman necropolises, the old copper mines at Migiandone, and traces of the Walser culture. All of these might be integrated into a single resource, existing as they do in the territory of the lower Ossola, the history of which was published by Enrico Bianchetti 125 years ago.

“It’s a matter of giving a boost to a kind of intelligent, non-invasive tourism which respects nature and the environment, and which will see a rise in visits of the faithful to the Sanctuary of Boden and an increase in the number of climbers coming to our beautiful mountains. Positive spin-offs for the economy and the image of Ornavasso will be guaranteed. The Alpini association has been working for twenty years to make the best of Ornavasso, and now is the time to take this important project in hand.” So concludes Fermo Massimo. In the meantime a group of 40 students from the Middle School of Pieve Vergonte have come on a study visit to the Cadorna Line, and two first year classes from the Middle School of Ornavasso have gone to see the Bianchetti Collection in the archaeological section of the Museo del Paesaggio in Verbania Pallanza. Perhaps the idea of the ecomuseum is already taking off.

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