Business boomed in Matera in Basilicata for a couple of years after Mel Gibson filmed 'The Passion of Christ' there.
Nevertheless, the Sassi may have crumbled into nothing years before if such associations initiatives as MOSA had not appreciated first the patrimony of this ancient town.
MOSA stands for the 'Azienda Speciale della Camera di Commercio per i Sassi di Matera' and is a special branch of the Chamber of Commerce of Matera.
It was created in 1985 to promote the revival of Sassi, the oldest part of the city carved in the natural gorges in the stupendous ravine.
It was here in the caves that the first inhabitants of the city lived.
It was the perfect defense from the harsh countryside and environment of the Murgia of Matera and continued to be inhabited right up to the end of the Second World War.
Indeed, even in 1952 the galleries were home to some 16,000 people.
All of them were moved to the adjacent new Matera following a law passed by the Italian government who were effectively shamed by the poverty in the Sassi as post war Italy began to boom.
What was considered a good thing then, became a cause for concern 30 years later as it became apparent this unique cultural location was literally crumbling to pieces.
To encourage the rehabitation of the area, a new law was passed in the mid eighties allowing private ownership of the old buildings on 99 year leases. This is still in place.
Today, the Sassi are a symbol for the city and even a symbol for the rest of Europe.
They remind us all of how European urban culture used to be - sustainable and identifiable.