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The Mummies of Sicily (40)

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - In the crypt of the Capuchin Church of Burgio, a magnificent village situated 100 kilometres south of Palermo,Sicily, Italy on January 2019 the dead are perfectly staged. In all, there are around 50 mummies, most in the upright position, all elegantly dressed. The women wear splendid lace dresses, a little faded, and the men their best hat. Almost all of these mummies date to the 18th and 19th centuries. The most recent were added at the beginning of the 20th century. In the shadows, illuminated with a small bright torch, Luisa Maria Lo Gerfo examines the skull of an elegant bourgeois deceased 150 years ago. Anthropologist, biologist, archaeologist and Sicilian mummy specialist, she regularly works on mummies whether they are in an upright position or elongated in richly decorated open coffins. She measures limbs, diagnoses diseases according to abnormalities and scars, inspects dresses, mantillas, costumes, top hats and scarves. "Not everyone could afford to be mummified", she explains. "The more one was part of high society, the closer one was to the altar, the heart of the church. The poorest were buried outside the church." Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. The mummified body of Antonio Prestigiacomo ( d.1844) one of the best preserved. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. Mummie of brother Silvestro of Gubbio (16 oct. 1599) the oldest of the catacombs. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. In the center the mummified body of Antonio Prestigiacomo ( d.1844) one of the best preserved. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo , Sicily, Italy. January 2019. One of the last to be buried there before it closed in 1920 was Rosalia Lombardo, the child whose body has remained remarkably intact due to a process only recently discovered. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - In the crypt of the Capuchin Church of Burgio, a magnificent village situated 100 kilometres south of Palermo,Sicily, Italy on January 2019 the dead are perfectly staged. In all, there are around 50 mummies, most in the upright position, all elegantly dressed. The women wear splendid lace dresses, a little faded, and the men their best hat. Almost all of these mummies date to the 18th and 19th centuries. The most recent were added at the beginning of the 20th century. In the shadows, illuminated with a small bright torch, Luisa Maria Lo Gerfo examines the skull of an elegant bourgeois deceased 150 years ago. Anthropologist, biologist, archaeologist and Sicilian mummy specialist, she regularly works on mummies whether they are in an upright position or elongated in richly decorated open coffins. She measures limbs, diagnoses diseases according to abnormalities and scars, inspects dresses, mantillas, costumes, top hats and scarves. "Not everyone could afford to be mummified", she explains. "The more one was part of high society, the closer one was to the altar, the heart of the church. The poorest were buried outside the church." Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - In the crypt of the Capuchin Church of Burgio, a magnificent village situated 100 kilometres south of Palermo,Sicily, Italy on January 2019 the dead are perfectly staged. In all, there are around 50 mummies, most in the upright position, all elegantly dressed. The women wear splendid lace dresses, a little faded, and the men their best hat. Almost all of these mummies date to the 18th and 19th centuries. The most recent were added at the beginning of the 20th century. In the shadows, illuminated with a small bright torch, Luisa Maria Lo Gerfo examines the skull of an elegant bourgeois deceased 150 years ago. Anthropologist, biologist, archaeologist and Sicilian mummy specialist, she regularly works on mummies whether they are in an upright position or elongated in richly decorated open coffins. She measures limbs, diagnoses diseases according to abnormalities and scars, inspects dresses, mantillas, costumes, top hats and scarves. "Not everyone could afford to be mummified", she explains. "The more one was part of high society, the closer one was to the altar, the heart of the church. The poorest were buried outside the church." Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - In the crypt of the Capuchin Church of Burgio, a magnificent village situated 100 kilometres south of Palermo,Sicily, Italy on January 2019 the dead are perfectly staged. In all, there are around 50 mummies, most in the upright position, all elegantly dressed. The women wear splendid lace dresses, a little faded, and the men their best hat. Almost all of these mummies date to the 18th and 19th centuries. The most recent were added at the beginning of the 20th century. In the shadows, illuminated with a small bright torch, Luisa Maria Lo Gerfo examines the skull of an elegant bourgeois deceased 150 years ago. Anthropologist, biologist, archaeologist and Sicilian mummy specialist, she regularly works on mummies whether they are in an upright position or elongated in richly decorated open coffins. She measures limbs, diagnoses diseases according to abnormalities and scars, inspects dresses, mantillas, costumes, top hats and scarves. "Not everyone could afford to be mummified", she explains. "The more one was part of high society, the closer one was to the altar, the heart of the church. The poorest were buried outside the church." Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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NO WEB FOR FRANCE - In the crypt of the Capuchin Church of Burgio, a magnificent village situated 100 kilometres south of Palermo,Sicily, Italy on January 2019 the dead are perfectly staged. In all, there are around 50 mummies, most in the upright position, all elegantly dressed. The women wear splendid lace dresses, a little faded, and the men their best hat. Almost all of these mummies date to the 18th and 19th centuries. The most recent were added at the beginning of the 20th century. In the shadows, illuminated with a small bright torch, Luisa Maria Lo Gerfo examines the skull of an elegant bourgeois deceased 150 years ago. Anthropologist, biologist, archaeologist and Sicilian mummy specialist, she regularly works on mummies whether they are in an upright position or elongated in richly decorated open coffins. She measures limbs, diagnoses diseases according to abnormalities and scars, inspects dresses, mantillas, costumes, top hats and scarves. "Not everyone could afford to be mummified", she explains. "The more one was part of high society, the closer one was to the altar, the heart of the church. The poorest were buried outside the church." Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

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EN_01375596_0026

NO WEB FOR FRANCE - In the crypt of the Capuchin Church of Burgio, a magnificent village situated 100 kilometres south of Palermo,Sicily, Italy on January 2019 the dead are perfectly staged. In all, there are around 50 mummies, most in the upright position, all elegantly dressed. The women wear splendid lace dresses, a little faded, and the men their best hat. Almost all of these mummies date to the 18th and 19th centuries. The most recent were added at the beginning of the 20th century. In the shadows, illuminated with a small bright torch, Luisa Maria Lo Gerfo examines the skull of an elegant bourgeois deceased 150 years ago. Anthropologist, biologist, archaeologist and Sicilian mummy specialist, she regularly works on mummies whether they are in an upright position or elongated in richly decorated open coffins. She measures limbs, diagnoses diseases according to abnormalities and scars, inspects dresses, mantillas, costumes, top hats and scarves. "Not everyone could afford to be mummified", she explains. "The more one was part of high society, the closer one was to the altar, the heart of the church. The poorest were buried outside the church." Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

EN_01375596_0027
EN_01375596_0027

NO WEB FOR FRANCE - In the crypt of the Capuchin Church of Burgio, a magnificent village situated 100 kilometres south of Palermo,Sicily, Italy on January 2019 the dead are perfectly staged. In all, there are around 50 mummies, most in the upright position, all elegantly dressed. The women wear splendid lace dresses, a little faded, and the men their best hat. Almost all of these mummies date to the 18th and 19th centuries. The most recent were added at the beginning of the 20th century. In the shadows, illuminated with a small bright torch, Luisa Maria Lo Gerfo examines the skull of an elegant bourgeois deceased 150 years ago. Anthropologist, biologist, archaeologist and Sicilian mummy specialist, she regularly works on mummies whether they are in an upright position or elongated in richly decorated open coffins. She measures limbs, diagnoses diseases according to abnormalities and scars, inspects dresses, mantillas, costumes, top hats and scarves. "Not everyone could afford to be mummified", she explains. "The more one was part of high society, the closer one was to the altar, the heart of the church. The poorest were buried outside the church." Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

EN_01375596_0028
EN_01375596_0028

NO WEB FOR FRANCE - In the crypt of the Capuchin Church of Burgio, a magnificent village situated 100 kilometres south of Palermo,Sicily, Italy on January 2019 the dead are perfectly staged. In all, there are around 50 mummies, most in the upright position, all elegantly dressed. The women wear splendid lace dresses, a little faded, and the men their best hat. Almost all of these mummies date to the 18th and 19th centuries. The most recent were added at the beginning of the 20th century. In the shadows, illuminated with a small bright torch, Luisa Maria Lo Gerfo examines the skull of an elegant bourgeois deceased 150 years ago. Anthropologist, biologist, archaeologist and Sicilian mummy specialist, she regularly works on mummies whether they are in an upright position or elongated in richly decorated open coffins. She measures limbs, diagnoses diseases according to abnormalities and scars, inspects dresses, mantillas, costumes, top hats and scarves. "Not everyone could afford to be mummified", she explains. "The more one was part of high society, the closer one was to the altar, the heart of the church. The poorest were buried outside the church." Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

EN_01375596_0029
EN_01375596_0029

NO WEB FOR FRANCE - In the crypt of the Capuchin Church of Burgio, a magnificent village situated 100 kilometres south of Palermo,Sicily, Italy on January 2019 the dead are perfectly staged. In all, there are around 50 mummies, most in the upright position, all elegantly dressed. The women wear splendid lace dresses, a little faded, and the men their best hat. Almost all of these mummies date to the 18th and 19th centuries. The most recent were added at the beginning of the 20th century. In the shadows, illuminated with a small bright torch, Luisa Maria Lo Gerfo examines the skull of an elegant bourgeois deceased 150 years ago. Anthropologist, biologist, archaeologist and Sicilian mummy specialist, she regularly works on mummies whether they are in an upright position or elongated in richly decorated open coffins. She measures limbs, diagnoses diseases according to abnormalities and scars, inspects dresses, mantillas, costumes, top hats and scarves. "Not everyone could afford to be mummified", she explains. "The more one was part of high society, the closer one was to the altar, the heart of the church. The poorest were buried outside the church." Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

EN_01375596_0030
EN_01375596_0030

NO WEB FOR FRANCE - In the crypt of the Capuchin Church of Burgio, a magnificent village situated 100 kilometres south of Palermo,Sicily, Italy on January 2019 the dead are perfectly staged. In all, there are around 50 mummies, most in the upright position, all elegantly dressed. The women wear splendid lace dresses, a little faded, and the men their best hat. Almost all of these mummies date to the 18th and 19th centuries. The most recent were added at the beginning of the 20th century. In the shadows, illuminated with a small bright torch, Luisa Maria Lo Gerfo examines the skull of an elegant bourgeois deceased 150 years ago. Anthropologist, biologist, archaeologist and Sicilian mummy specialist, she regularly works on mummies whether they are in an upright position or elongated in richly decorated open coffins. She measures limbs, diagnoses diseases according to abnormalities and scars, inspects dresses, mantillas, costumes, top hats and scarves. "Not everyone could afford to be mummified", she explains. "The more one was part of high society, the closer one was to the altar, the heart of the church. The poorest were buried outside the church." Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

EN_01375596_0031
EN_01375596_0031

NO WEB FOR FRANCE - A monk in the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

EN_01375596_0032
EN_01375596_0032

NO WEB FOR FRANCE - The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy on January 2019. The catacombs contain about 8000 corpses and 1252 mummies. Palermo's Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The cemetery was first reserved for ecclesiastical workers, then accepted deceased from all walks of life, and experienced its greatest popularity during the 19th century. An inscription hanging from the neck or pinned to the chest, indicates the name, birth and death dates of the deceased.The cemetary was officially closed by civil order in 1880. But the last burials are from the 1920s. The cemetary has now become a kind of museum, filled with the forgotten dead, who are watched over by a group of Capuchin monks. Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

EN_01375753_0001
EN_01375753_0001

NO WEB FOR FRANCE - At the crypt of the Mother Church dedicated to San Nicol? of Bari in Gangi, Sicily, Italy on January 2019 one can discover standing well aligned in niches, the well conserved mummies of 44 priests of the parish "Once a month", Father Don Giuseppe known as Pinot said, "I celebrate the mass here surrounded by my faithful and by my fellows. They remind us that we are passing through this earth and they are still part of our lives years after their departure. You will notice that each one of them displays above their heads a eulogy in the form of a poem retracing their lives." Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

EN_01375753_0002
EN_01375753_0002

NO WEB FOR FRANCE - At the crypt of the Mother Church dedicated to San Nicol? of Bari in Gangi, Sicily, Italy on January 2019 one can discover standing well aligned in niches, the well conserved mummies of 44 priests of the parish "Once a month", Father Don Giuseppe known as Pinot said, "I celebrate the mass here surrounded by my faithful and by my fellows. They remind us that we are passing through this earth and they are still part of our lives years after their departure. You will notice that each one of them displays above their heads a eulogy in the form of a poem retracing their lives." Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

EN_01375753_0003
EN_01375753_0003

NO WEB FOR FRANCE - At the crypt of the Mother Church dedicated to San Nicol? of Bari in Gangi, Sicily, Italy on January 2019 one can discover standing well aligned in niches, the well conserved mummies of 44 priests of the parish "Once a month", Father Don Giuseppe known as Pinot said, "I celebrate the mass here surrounded by my faithful and by my fellows. They remind us that we are passing through this earth and they are still part of our lives years after their departure. You will notice that each one of them displays above their heads a eulogy in the form of a poem retracing their lives." Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

EN_01375753_0004
EN_01375753_0004

NO WEB FOR FRANCE - At the crypt of the Mother Church dedicated to San Nicol? of Bari in Gangi, Sicily, Italy on January 2019 one can discover standing well aligned in niches, the well conserved mummies of 44 priests of the parish "Once a month", Father Don Giuseppe known as Pinot said, "I celebrate the mass here surrounded by my faithful and by my fellows. They remind us that we are passing through this earth and they are still part of our lives years after their departure. You will notice that each one of them displays above their heads a eulogy in the form of a poem retracing their lives." Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

EN_01375753_0005
EN_01375753_0005

NO WEB FOR FRANCE - At the crypt of the Mother Church dedicated to San Nicol? of Bari in Gangi, Sicily, Italy on January 2019 one can discover standing well aligned in niches, the well conserved mummies of 44 priests of the parish "Once a month", Father Don Giuseppe known as Pinot said, "I celebrate the mass here surrounded by my faithful and by my fellows. They remind us that we are passing through this earth and they are still part of our lives years after their departure. You will notice that each one of them displays above their heads a eulogy in the form of a poem retracing their lives." Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

EN_01375753_0006
EN_01375753_0006

NO WEB FOR FRANCE - At the crypt of the Mother Church dedicated to San Nicol? of Bari in Gangi, Sicily, Italy on January 2019 one can discover standing well aligned in niches, the well conserved mummies of 44 priests of the parish "Once a month", Father Don Giuseppe known as Pinot said, "I celebrate the mass here surrounded by my faithful and by my fellows. They remind us that we are passing through this earth and they are still part of our lives years after their departure. You will notice that each one of them displays above their heads a eulogy in the form of a poem retracing their lives." Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

EN_01375753_0007
EN_01375753_0007

NO WEB FOR FRANCE - At the crypt of the Mother Church dedicated to San Nicol? of Bari in Gangi, Sicily, Italy on January 2019 one can discover standing well aligned in niches, the well conserved mummies of 44 priests of the parish "Once a month", Father Don Giuseppe known as Pinot said, "I celebrate the mass here surrounded by my faithful and by my fellows. They remind us that we are passing through this earth and they are still part of our lives years after their departure. You will notice that each one of them displays above their heads a eulogy in the form of a poem retracing their lives." Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM

EN_01375753_0008
EN_01375753_0008

NO WEB FOR FRANCE - At the crypt of the Mother Church dedicated to San Nicol? of Bari in Gangi, Sicily, Italy on January 2019 one can discover standing well aligned in niches, the well conserved mummies of 44 priests of the parish "Once a month", Father Don Giuseppe known as Pinot said, "I celebrate the mass here surrounded by my faithful and by my fellows. They remind us that we are passing through this earth and they are still part of our lives years after their departure. You will notice that each one of them displays above their heads a eulogy in the form of a poem retracing their lives." Sicily will reveal over time a real research laboratory on mummification. It is spreading throughout the island and there is not an important village in sight that does not display the bodies of their priests, monks or citizens in the crypt of their church. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM