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Thorneyholme Roman Catholic Primary School

Lampedusa Cross

The Lampedusa 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.
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