Since 2016, after an act of vandalism that broke her arm and other parts, we at AGIAMO have never given up on the idea that “our” Italy turreted at the Montanelli Gardens, the only female monument in all of Milan, remained for always mutilated and left like this, forgotten, broken, dirty and “eaten” by weeds. In recent years we have always kept the headlights on her and we have looked for someone who would share with us both the pain of the past and the desire for a future of rebirth.
On June 13 at 6 pm, the NO’HMA, BRERA and AGIAMO Theater will present the architects of this success, a concrete example of shared resilience. A top-notch restoration, a state-of-the-art reconstruction of the mutilated parts and an embellishment of the surrounding area, will be the fundamental ingredients of a great event to celebrate the 160th anniversary of the unification of Italy and the 170th anniversary of this foreboding statue of ours. destiny.
The monument to Italy is not just any marble sculpture, it is the personification of our country, a young woman with a luxuriant body and her head surrounded by a crown of walls. This turreted Italy is full of symbols and meanings of the highest profile. It was made 170 years ago in white Carrara marble by Alessandro Puttinati, author of some statues of the Cathedral and of San Simpliciano, as well as of the monument to Carlo Porta (which was later destroyed by the bombings of the Second World War) and was somehow premonitory of the unity of our country as it was carved ten years before the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy.
It was made thanks to a group of Milanese citizens who had it sculpted to honor the martyrs of Spielberg and it was the first statue placed in Milan after the unification of Italy.
It was to be erected in Switzerland where Federico Confalonieri died, but the Austrians wanted to destroy it and then Count Francesco Benedetto Arese Lucini, Italian politician, senator and knight of the Supreme Order of the Santissima Annunziata, as well as nephew of Francesco Teodoro Arese Lucini, Italian patriot and convicted when he was imprisoned at the Spielberg fortress, he managed to hide it and save it.
It was finally placed in its current location, the Montemerlo, at the time the highest in Milan, in 1861.
Looking at the base, some Masonic symbols are carved on the right: compass and square. On the side, always on the right, there is a laurel wreath and a zither.
On the left are a cornucopia and a painter’s palette. Many symbols, many meanings. The crown of walls symbolizes the royalty and nobility of Italian cities, while the abundance of crops from our countryside is represented by the cornucopia. Zither and pictorial palette are a tribute to the arts of which Italy is an extraordinary interpreter. The globe under the foot signifies Italy’s dominion over the world.
Immediately after the mutilation it seemed that we simply had to take note of what happened and then forget it as soon as possible, but over time we realized that there was something very important that could emerge, that went beyond the gesture itself, and that the worst news would have been indifference and oblivion and not so much the breakup.
Just as 170 years ago it was a group of Milanese citizens who wanted it, we were sure that there would be many others today who would not have spread their arms and who shared with us the desire to transform a cowardice into an opportunity to enhance it.
At AGIAMO, we first offered a reward of 500 euros to anyone who had provided useful information for the discovery of the broken and disappeared pieces, pieces that were also searched for by the Scuba Diving Unit of the Local Police in the pond of the Gardens, and then we began to look at it. only like an arm of broken marble, but as damage done to us, to our values, to our most intimate and high feelings.
We thought that its restoration could symbolize the overcoming of the violence suffered not only by a marble statue, but by a woman and an entire country, or even the vital reaction of overcoming a disability.
Almost five years after the vandal act, the monument to turreted Italy has been restored by Ars Restauri and the Brera Academy of Fine Arts thanks to the stubbornness of AGIAMO and the sensitivity of the Maintenance and Management of Monuments and Fountains of the Municipality of Milan. of the Superintendence of Artistic and Cultural Heritage, and of the No’hma Theater.
WE ACT – Amici GIArdiniMOntanelli
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