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Furnace Penna is a monument to industrial architecture and is located in Pisciotto district in Sampieri, in the municipality of Sicily in the province of Ragusa (Italy). The Furnace Penna was built between 1909 and 1912 by the engineer Ignatius Emmolo, who graduated in mathematics in Catania and in civil engineering in Naples in 1895. By creating the company with the support of Baron William Pen, he chose the site “Punta Pisciotto” close to the sea, for the following reasons: 1) The waters are deep enough to allow the docking of ships;
2) The presence of the railway;
3) The nearby clay pit, about 200 meters, to the raw material;
4) The availability of abundant water from a local karst spring.
The factory produced bricks that were exported to many Mediterranean countries: much of Tripoli (Libya) after the 1911 war was built with bricks of “Pisciotto”. He worked from six in the morning until dusk, from May to September; with the first rains, the Furnace Penna was closed. They have found employment a hundred workers aged between 16 and 18 years. The termination of an establishment occurred during the night of January 26, 1924, due to an arson that destroyed it in a few hours. A letter attributed abandoned gesture to the Socialists, while another hypothesis foreshadows the suspicion of the internal revenue fascist file. As evidence of that past production only ruins were left: “‘or Pisciuottu”, so it is called the old settlement by the locals; and the inexorable passage of time, disintegrating quietly and discreetly, the Furnace Penna awaits his fate. Always this building was the focus of great controversy and debates among the proposals to modify it in the hotel or the ones to do it become a cultural place or, simply, to put in place a maintenance restoration. In recent years, thanks to the charm of its ruins, the Furnace Pen was used as a film set: “The Pasture”, is appointed as the town where the factory is located, in an episode of the TV series ” the Commissioner Montalbano”. On the occasion of his visit, Vittorio Sgarbi (Italian art critic) had it even to describe as “a basilica lay on the seashore”.
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