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L'Italo-Americano THURSDAY, APRIL 3, 2014 www.italoamericano.com 2 es, built in Sardinia during the Nuragic Age (18 th century BC to 2 nd century AD). The exact dating of these stun- ning artworks, created by the Nuragic civilization inhabiting the island, is still uncertain but probably between the 11 th and 8 th century BC. This makes them among the most ancient anthro- pomorphic sculptures of the Mediterranean area, along with the Egyptian statues and the Greek kouroi. According to the experts, the site of Monte Prama where the mysterious and fascinating Giants were found was a funer- ary and monumental area cele- brating the Nuragic aristocracy. The area's size and the remark- able quantity of statues, nuraghe models, tombs, and sacred stones (betyls) suggest a wealthy and technically advanced society, maintaining political and cultural contacts with other Mediterranean populations. The strategic location on top of a hill may also symbolize power over the Island to scare away potential enemies. The Kolossoi – as the colossal sculptures were named by renowned archaeologist Giovanni Lilliu - were presum- ably meant to be heroic warriors honoring or defending the graves The mysterious Giants of Monte Prama have returned to life The Giants of Monte Prama finally on view at the Archaeological Museums in Cagliari and Cabras Continued from page 1 Continued from page 1 of leading figures from the com- munity, and therefore they were carved holding their bows or shields. Between 2 and 2.5 meters tall, they show human traits mixed with cryptic symbol- ism, like the eyes consisting of two concentric circles or the tiny tight mouth. Many aspects still need to be investigated by historians and archaeologists, but the recovery and restoration of the giant arti- facts remain a milestone achievement that sheds light on the ancient history of that geo- graphic area. The turnout of visitors who attended the openings in Cabras and Cagliari on March 22, 2014, was unexpectedly high. Both exhibitions also feature an inno- vative multimedia system, pro- vided by the interdisciplinary research center CRS4, that allows a closer look at the sculp- tures and shows details in 3D and life size. As undersecretary of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage Francesca Barracciu explained, this is an example of the authorities' com- mitment not only to restore Italy's infinite artistic treasures but also to increase their value and allow them to be enjoyed by national and international tourists.

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