Rome: Italian oil tycoon Enrico Mattei, founder of the ENI energy group, was posthumously awarded the Friends of the Algerian Revolution Medal by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.
Established in 1987, the medal is awarded by the Algerian government to foreigners who supported the country’s struggle for independence from France.
The medal was presented in a ceremony to Mattei’s grandson by Algerian Ambassador Abdelkrim Touahria, in the presence of Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio.
“This honor to Mattei is of great importance for our country,” Touahria said at the ceremony at his residence in Rome, which was attended by Arab News.
“He was a friend of Algeria and of the revolution, as well as a great industrialist who was able to mobilize the political class and the media of the country, making them aware of the Algerian cause.”
Touahria said Mattei, who died in 1962 when his airplane crashed near Milan, “contributed to upsetting the monopoly of the big oil companies with more advantageous contracts and helping the government.”
Aroldo Curzi Mattei said Algeria was in his grandfather’s “heart and mind.”
Italian journalist Piero Angela was also awarded at the same ceremony. His TV reporting of the revolution for Italian broadcaster Rai was recently restored on the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Di Maio described Italian-Algerian relations as “precious” to Rome.