The Friends of Morgantina (FOM) was established in order to ensure the continuation of the excavation, study, and preservation of the ancient Sikel-Greek city near Aidone (Enna) Sicily. Prof. Malcolm Bell, co-director of the American Excavations at Morgantina (with Prof. Carla Antonaccio of Duke University) and professor emeritus of art history at the University of Virginia, serves as President of the Board. Neil MacDougall and Warren Dunn serve as members of the Board, the former as Treasurer and the latter as Secretary; both have excavated at Morgantina.
The operating philosophy of FOM, which is a 501(c)3 organization for tax and reporting purposes, is to raise funds on an annual basis for specific projects that advance the objectives of the organization. There are no administrative costs other than those directly associated with the projects supported by FOM. All officers serve on a volunteer basis.
To date, FOM has provided funds for several undertakings. These include:
- A geophysical survey in March, 2012, of three areas at Morgantina: the North and South Baths, the agora, and the archaic city at Cittadella. Directed by Dr. Sandra Lucore, principal excavator of the baths, and Prof. Monika Trumper of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the survey was carried out by a team of experts from the University of Cologne.
- Site-cleaning in 2011 and 2012 in three areas, the North Baths, the Bouleuterion, and the Doric Stoa; the work was judged necessary to prevent brush fires in the area of the Baths and permanent damage to the walls of the other two buildings.
- Construction of new shelving in the main storeroom of the Morgantina Museum, making possible use of the formerly overcrowded space for study and research
- Payment of the annual rent in 2011-2012 for the excavation house in Aidone.
In choosing which projects to fund, the board members review proposals for merit or relevancy, after which a peer review process is followed as warranted. Funds raised are escrowed for particular projects and progress reports are provided in an annual report.
Other projects under consideration include an up-to-date guide to the excavations; the digitizing of archives at Princeton, the University of Illinois, and Charlottesville, a project that would require significant resources; and the construction of an antiquarium for the many finds and fragments from the North Baths. FOM is prepared to partner with other sponsors.
Another issue of concern is expediting the return of artifacts illegally removed from the site. The successful campaign to recover such works provides FOM with an opportunity to become more active in the restitution of artifacts to their country of origin.
FOM welcomes the creation of this website dedicated exclusively to Morgantina and appreciates the opportunity to be included. Anyone interested in additional information about FOM, please contact any of the officers.