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TEMPORARY CITIZEN IN MATERA

Visitors can be a boost to a region’s economy but concers are mounting across Europe about the impact of mass tourism on local life. Matera, a southern Italian city, may have a solution. It’s using its status as European Capital of Culture (ECOC) in 2019 to warn the world of the dangers of tourism. “Yes, we want more people to visit but we want them to contribute to the community rather than dominate it”, says archaeologist Emmanuel Curti. The city will match residents and visitors (“temporary citizens”) who want to share skills – including reciprocal language lessons – and has already displayed museum treasures in locals’ houses to encourage interaction.
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Photo by Francesca Cappa