If you’ve ever watched Star Wars Episode I, you may recognise this place called Ong Jmel, situated in the south of Tunisia. Ong Jmel was used in the movie as the setting of Anakin Skywalker’s hometown of Mos Espa.
Ong Jmel doesn’t look the same as it did back then however because wind and sand dunes in the region are slowly covering the area, with one sand dune already burying 10% of Ong Jmel. Tunisia’s tourism ministry hopes to stop the sand dunes from covering more of Ong Jmel and has launched the Save Mos Espa campaign on Indiegogo in a bid to raise 140 000 Tunisian dinars ($89 000) needed to help with the second phase of restoration and prevent any further damage from ocurring.
Work has already begun at Ong Jmel and parts of the set have been restored with the Tunisian governement donating 160 000 Dinars to the project.
“We managed to remove 8,000 cubic metres of sand in 12 days. Unfortunately some of the set has already collapsed,” said Nabil Gasmi whose part of a tourist group involved in Save Mos Espa.
So far, Save Mos Espa has raised $2 916 of its $45 000 goal with 58 days left before funding closes. Fortunately, it’s a flexible funding campaign, so even if it doesn’t reach it’s goal, all funds will still go to Save Mos Espa.
View the gallery below to see photos of the restoration at Ong Jmel: