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Xavier Dupré Reventós

1956 - 2006

Appreciation by
Núria Rafel Fontanals

Three cities were the highlights of Xavier Dupré's professional career and personal life: Barcelona, where he was born and raised, Tarragona, to which he felt tied even after his departure in 1990, and Rome, his chosen city. At the moment of his death he was a member of various international scientific and academic institutions and the sub director of the Escuela Española de Historia y Arqueología in Rome (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas), a position he had held since 1995 and from which he drove Spanish archeology into the international sphere through different projects, among them the one dedicated to the emblematic site of Tusculum (Lazio, Italia), in which different Spanish research institutions were involved. His professional career started in Tarragona, first as archaeologist (1981-1986) in the Generalitat de Catalunya (Autonomy Government) and later (1986-1990), as the director of the Taller Escola d'Arqueologia (TED'A), a municipal workshop of archaeology. His presence in this city facilitated for the first time in the capital of the Roman province of the Tarraconensis the implementation of an interdisciplinary research program and a global project that included both training and making known its archaeological work, thus becoming a reference for Spanish rescue archeology, which began its development in the 1980s along with the democratic transition. Even if his most remarkable achievement in Tarragona was to offer a global approach to the archeological site as well as management criteria and instruments that became a model, it is also worth emphasizing some of the projects undertaken inside this framework, such as those devoted to the Roman circus, to the provincial forum or to Berà's arch. The topic of the latter was the subject of the beautiful monographic essay that constitutes his thesis.

One of the main characteristics that defined him was that he was so passionate towards his profession that it made him interested in every aspect of its practice: research, training (not only for researchers but also for all kind of professionals involved), making known archaeology and history to diverse public and, finally, the institutional sense. That, together with his great capacity to get enthusiastic and to rouse others, explains his diverse and full career.

As the author of a large bibliography (122 publications, several of which are books) and as the driving force and coordinator of publishing projects such as the collection Las capitales provinciales de Hispania of Erma di Breschneider, he leaves us a remarkable professional legacy. However, his premature death deprives Catalan and Spanish archeology of everything that he had still to contribute, and leaves a painful emptiness with his colleagues and with those who were also honored by his friendship.