Lampedusa: A Grave at Sea

The graveyard for migrants lost in the Mediterranean

Lampedusa: A Grave at Sea Since 2014, nearly 24,000 migrants have died on their way to Sicily. But what happens to the bodies of those who have lost their lives at sea while undertaking the perilous journey?
Largely from Libya and Tunisia, thousands of migrants strive to reach Sicily each year. And each year, thousands die at sea. 'This trip is dangerous and difficult. People are risking their lives. They are not equipped to go far', says researcher Daniela Stauffacher. The identities and religions of those who die at sea are typically unknown: they are interred in numbered graves without names. 'It's like we're in a war', says one cemetery manager. 'A lot of dead bodies, victims'. 'There is always a prayer for a person, no matter their religious affiliation. We have never left a person without a prayer', says Don Stefano, a priest in Lampedusa.

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