Statement on the tragedy of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302


It is with sadness that the British School at Rome has learned that Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 has crashed en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi. More than 150 individuals lost their lives, including eight Italian and seven British citizens. We mourn as part of the international community, including as a member of the British International Research Institutes which includes the British Institute in Eastern Africa based in Nairobi, and because we have learned that they include members of the Italian cultural sector and Roman community.

Among those lost are 22 UN workers headed to the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, which opened this morning. They included members of the Food and Agriculture Organization, International Fund for Agricultural Development, and World Food Programme. Rome-based UN workers frequently attend BSR exhibitions, conferences, and events. The BSR has been partnering more closely with the UN RBAs on key goals like water and sustainable cities. We express our sincere condolences to our UN colleagues.

Also lost was Sebastiano Tusa, the Assessore alla Cultura della Regione Siciliana. He was en route to the UNESCO meeting in Nairobi to give the keynote address on the importance of safeguarding cultural heritage. Sebastiano could often be found walking the BSR hallways. This past autumn he co-authored two papers at BSR conferences and he was currently organizing a conference to be held next month at the BSR on international collaborative archaeological projects in Sicily, in which he was delivering the keynote talk. It was to be followed by a conference in Palermo in June. The Tusa family has been a staple at the BSR with Sebastiano’s father Vincenzo collaborating with the BSR since in the 1970s. Our thoughts are with Sebastiano’s wife Valeria, director of the Museo d’arte contemporanea di Palazzo Riso, and their sons Andrea and Vincenzo.

The stories of the victims of this tragedy are slowly coming out. They include individuals from at least 30 nations and they are aid workers, academics, business owners, and families. Among the Italian citizens were humanitarian workers. Among the Canadians was a professor at Carleton University. As more information becomes available the far-reaching impact of this tragedy is becoming clear.

We mourn with our colleagues in the UK, Italy, FAO, IFAD, and WFP, and all those who lost loved ones from this tragedy.