'ANSA archive is our collective memory' says Grasso
Senate Speaker shown ANSA documentary on Falcone, Borsellino15 October, 18:09
ANSA President Giulio Anselmi, Editor-in-Chief Luigi Contu and other news agency executives were also present at the screening.
''The ANSA archive is the historical memory of our country, of our political and social life. A treasure trove I have often tapped into, especially in my previous life as a magistrate'', Grasso said after watching the video directed by Franco Nuccio, Franco Nicastro and Giuseppe Di Lorenzo and produced by ANSA's Palermo newsroom. ''You cannot imagine how much help the historical ANSA archive is to investigators'', added Grasso, a former anti-Mafia magistrate and adviser to the criminal affairs department of Italy's ministry of justice.
''I still remember the time I was working with Florence prosecutor Gabriele Chelazzi, and we asked for several years' worth of ANSA dispatches, for example covering 1992 and 1993.
They turned out to be crucial in reconstructing the historical context in which the dire events we were investigating took place''. In speaking of Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, whose personal and professional lives are narrated in the documentary along with their tragic ends, the former anti-Mafia chief admits he was moved. ''Every time I think of these two colleagues, friends, and work comrades, the emotion I feel is always too great to put into words'', the Democratic Party (PD) senator confessed. ''I can only say I still feel very close to them, especially in the hardest moments. For me they represent a source of great moral strength, a great help''.
The images in the documentary, from the black and white archival ones showing them as young men, then as rookie magistrates, to those narrating the turning point that was the so-called ''maxiprocesso'' (mega anti-Mafia trial) of 1986-1987, ''help me rebuild the pathways of memory'', Grasso commented.
Contu presented Grasso with a video copy of the documentary, which also contains interviews with the key players of those tumultuous years, who offered their testimony on the occasion of an ANSA exhibit in Palermo honoring the two slain anti-Mafia magistrates. Grasso reciprocated by giving Anselmi a Senate plaque in memory of the first official visit by the president of the Upper House to the news agency.