‘Magnificent, moving and utterly haunting’ is how one reviewer sums up this unusual museum. Yes, you can certainly call a visit to this museum ‘dark tourism’ but it gives the strange details of an event that is mostly unknown outside Italy.
And yet, it is a complete mystery.
Despite extensive investigations, no one really knows how it came about that this regular passenger aircraft on an ordinary route on an unremarkable day was blown out of the air.
It was hit by a missile but its source has never been discovered. At first, mechanical failure was assumed. Then, a terrorist attack. Eventually, it was determined that a missile had down the plane but from where?
The museum was set up as a memorial to the 81 people who were killed when the plane was shot down in 1980. The plane crashed into the sea and there were no survivors. The wreckage was painstakingly – and controversially – salvaged from the ocean and for many years the pieced-together remains were more or less abandoned in a hangar in Rome whilst the extensive investigations continued.
Twenty-six years after the crash, the wreckage return to Bologna – the place it had taken off from that day en route to Palermo in Sicily. It was met by the relatives of the people who had died aboard the plane and the museum was created the following year as a permanent memorial.
What’s unusual is that people who visit the museum can actually walk amongst the wreckage of the plane.
WHERE IS THE MUSEUM?
Via di Saliceto, 3/22,
40128 Bologna BO,
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.