Mors Mortis Museum is proud to feature Dr. Dario Piombino-Mascali who will contribute to the Heritage, Tourism, and Death section of the upcoming Routledge handbook: Museums, Heritage, and Death with his work tentatively titled: Striking a Balance: Preserving, Curating, and Investigating Human Remains from the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, co-authored with Dr. Kirsty Squires.
Showing how the dead can still have their voice heard is particularly important to me.
Dr. Piombino-Mascali says that he became interested in death after hearing about the existence of a body of an incorruptible blessed, now Saint Eustochia Smeralda of Messina. When he was in primary school he asked his father to take him to see her.
One of his most memorable moments was x-raying the Sicily mummies for the first time, research that was supported by National Geographic in 2008. “As a mummy specialist I am very interested in mummification mechanisms, including natural and artificial ones. It is always fascinating to discover how bodies were treated over time in order to be preserved. Dealing with both skeletonised and mummified remains is part of my tasks at both Vilnius University, and the Department of Cultural Heritage and Sicilian Identity, which are my institutions. Showing how the dead can still have their voice heard is particularly important to me.”
His favorite death-related museum or heritage site is the Capuchin Catacombs, the museum he has curated since 2010.
By Jesse Morgan, a Communication and Photography Student at Coastal Carolina University, USA.