Italian film star returns to Tunisia

Claudia Cardinale is back! The Italian actress and film star, 84, was feted in the Tunis suburb of La Goulette, where a street was named after her and a giant mural  was unveiled. Her visit harked back to an earlier age when Tunisia had a large population of Italians, mostly Sicilians. All packed their bags after Tunisia acquired its independence in 1956. Le Figaro carries this AFP report: 

Claudia Cardinale, born in ‘Little Sicily’ in La Goulette, a suburb of Tunis

Visibly enchanted, the actress danced to tunes played by a traditional orchestra, then was presented with multiple gifts including portraits by local painters. A mural with a giant portrait of the actress was unveiled just before the inauguration of a plaque in her name, near the small La Goulette train station.

“We love Claudia very much and she loves Tunisia, she is returning home, we wanted to spoil her with a street that will bear her name for eternity,” the mayor of La Goulette, Amel Limam, told AFP. “I keep a lot of things from Tunisia in me, its landscapes, its people, its sense of hospitality, its openness”, confided the actress, before these ceremonies, in an interview with AFP by email.

This descendant of Italian emigrants said she was “very grateful” to the town hall and the association “La Piccola Sicilia”, co-organizer of the ceremonies in her honor. This “Little Sicily” was the district of La Goulette where thousands of Italians from Tunisia, mostly from Sicily, were concentrated and where “la Cardinale” was born, until their departure for independence in 1956.

Read article in full (French)

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