Aug. 15, 2008 — The town of Aidone in Sicily bestowed its first-ever honorary citizenship on Malcolm Bell III, professor of art history at the University of Virginia.
The award recognizes Bell’s long association with and commitment to the archeological site of the ancient city of Morgantina, where he has been director of the American excavations since 1980. Along with Bell’s research, he has made a special effort to integrate the site and its history within the community of Aidone.
In presenting the award at a standing-room-only ceremony, the mayor of Aidone highlighted the fundamental contributions Bell has made through his scientific research and publications to the knowledge about Morgantina and Sicilian history.
"Bell is held in high esteem for his scrupulously fair, open and generous approach in working with the local community," archaeologist Sandra K. Lucore said, "and his perceived goodwill is integral to successful cultural exchange between Italy and the United States."