D'Annunzio statue in Trieste defaced

Yellow paint poured onto controversial monument

(ANSA) - TRIESTE, MAY 17 - A statue of controversial proto-Fascist poet and self-styled military leader Gabriele D'Annunzio was defaced with yellow paint in Trieste at the weekend.
    Authorities said they were confident CCTV footage would help them find the culprits.
    Croatia condemned the inauguration of the statue on the 100th anniversary, on September 12, 2019, of the Decadent poet, airman and militarist's occupation of Fiume or Rijeka in 1919.
    Croatia handed a note to the Italian ambassador in Zagreb condemning the statue "in the strongest terms".
    It noted that this inauguration had happened "exactly on the day that marks the centenary of the occupation of Rijeka".
    According to a Croatian foreign ministry communique sent to ANSA, the act "contributes to disrupting the relations of friendship and good neighbourliness between the two countries".
    Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic also firmly condemned the "inauguration of the scandalous statue of discord".
    She said Italo-Croatian relations were founded today "on values that are totally in contrast with (the actions of) the man to whom the scandalous statue has been dedicated".
    The statue "celebrates Irredentism and the occupation of Rijeka, which was and will remain a proud part of its Croatian homeland".
    D'Annunzio, a larger than life figure who became a legend in his time, seems to have tried to do almost everything to excess.
    He had countless love affairs, including a fiery relationship with the world-famous actress Eleanora Duse, took part in duels, committed heroic feats in World War I and occupied Fiume (now Rijeka) in 1919. Later he supported Fascist political ideas but was progressively sidelined by Mussolini.
    An accomplished poet, novelist and dramatist who in his works combined naturalism, symbolism, and erotic images, he was considered the best interpreter of European Decadence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (ANSA).


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