A MUSEUM OF MILITARY HISTORY TO EDUCATE TO PEACE
Inaugurated in December 2002, in its museological ratio, it is an educational Museum conceived as a place to preserve and increase the appreciation of the memories of the 'Battle of Sicily', which started the liberation of Sicily but also of the rest of Italy from the Nazi occupation and the fascist dictatorship.
On 10 July 1943, while the Western part of Sicily was “easily occupied”, British and Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders landed on the South-eastern part, on the shores of Gela, Licata, Noto, Augusta and Portopalo, meeting "the clash of the German armed resistance "(D. Mack Smith).
The exhibited collections, introduced togheter with further purchases during the exhibition phase, were then increased with donations from private individuals, from Italian organizations and from the Canadian Army as well as with loans from cultural and military institutions such as the Military District of Catania, the Fortress of Augusta, the Italian Red Cross, the Catania State Archives, the Municipal Historical Archives of Caltagirone and Paternò.
In 2013 on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Landing there was the “Phil Stern, Sicily 1943's exhibition”.
Movies, photographs, testimonies, weapons, uniforms, vintage items, maps, newspapers, reconstructions of 'full immersion' environments ( a small square with shops, the “Casa del Fascio”, an anti-aircraft shelter, a bunker, some bombed out civilian buildings), reproductions of ordinary life at the front, (a surgery hut, the contacts through the transceiver, the eating of the mess) and the protagonists of the events modeled in wax by English masters (FD Roosevelt, W. Churchill, Vittorio Emanuele III, B. Mussolini, A. Hitler, General G. Castellano and Commander Bedell Smith inside the tent that welcomed them to sign the Armistice at Cassibile on September 3, 1943) they all document the stages of the advance of the allied troops and the sequence of clashes in Catania, Messina, Palermo, Agira, Floridia, Troina and other areas. The Museum itinerary ends with a view of the English Cemetery located at the gates of Catania, where the remains of the fallen are resting: their names are listed on a monitor next to a bronze sculpture.
Since 2017, the Museum’s exhibition room has been enriched by the ' Phil Stern' Hall, a 500 square meters hall consisting of more than 70 photographic images created by Phil Stern (1919 - 2013). As a war correspondent for the US military, Stern documented the landing operations held between 9 and 10 July 1943 in Licata and then the life of the common people in the cities and in the villages, the victims of the war and the cities devastated by the bombing.
At the end of the second world war, he became a famous photo-artist of politicians and of the most famous personalities of the American star system.