Do you know “la Scala dei Turchi”, or the Turkish steps, this piece of Sicilian limestone cliff which is one of the most touristic sites in Italy? Its owner has just launched an offer to Elon Musk, the boss of Tesla and soon of Twitter: to buy this piece of cliff, reports the Guardian Wednesday, May 4. Ferdinando Sciabarrà, 72, believes that the richest and most indebted man on the planet would know how to take care of this site which, for many, suffers cruelly from maintenance.
However, the septuagenarian had fought hard to be recognized as the owner of the premises. This former employee of the local chamber of commerce had claimed ownership based on inheritance documents dating from the 19th century. He had won his case after years of legal battle, explain our colleagues.
A place that has become particularly vulnerable
This decision to sell the site would have seemed obvious to him after the local authorities rejected his requests to better protect the site, which suffers from an overflow of tourists, by transforming it, for example, into a nature reserve. The place would have become particularly vulnerable, due to thefts by tourists of pieces of the rock, composed of soft white limestone, and the natural erosion of the cliff. Acts of vandalism had been listed last January, with red iron oxide powder having been dumped on the steps.
Ferdinando Sciabarrà then decided to sell the site “at auction, first appealing to Elon Musk”, reports the Guardian. For the owner’s daughter, interviewed by the British media, it is a question of security: “Tourists must be able to visit [le lieu] safely with controlled access, not through easily circumvented fences. We must also prevent landslides.