Everywhere in Uk, the authorities are removing statues connected with racism after the first episode happened in Bristol, the great city where I am living now !!!
But in Livorno /Tuscany, that it was my city for 42 years, a controversial statue is still considered cool and the symbol of the city.
It is called : ‘ I QUATTRO MORI ‘
I lived in Livorno for 42 years and I have always found a statue like this offensive towards black people and the history connected to slavery even if different from the British one.
Here the story of the statue.
In 1617, Cosimo II contracted sculptor Pietro Tacca to create the monument to commemorate his father, Ferdinando I. The completed monument was installed in Livorno in 1626. It features four bronze statues of enslaved prisoners chained at the base of a statue of Ferdinando I which had been commissioned at an earlier date. The physical characteristics of three of the statues represent people of the southern Mediterranean coast while the fourth statue has characteristics of a black African.
Although the four chained prisoners are meant to represent the victories of Ferdinando I over the Ottomans, there may also be a different interpretation due to the presence of the statue with the black African characteristics; Ferdinando II, grandson of Ferdinando I, completed the monument and he may also have been involved in slave trade activities in West Africa in the 1660s, in cooperation with the Genoans.
We fought against the mores but anyway this white man standing proudly on 4 black men in the chain has too many connections with the slavery.
Furthermore, it is outside an important touristic harbour where the big cruises arrive.
Lots of tourists get upset every time by the statue and ask why it is still there.
And now after the horrible episode that killed the poor George ( still now I have his words in my ears: I can not breath, please, I can not breath ), the council of Livorno should remove t this statue as soon as possible for respect towards the black people.
In Italy, there are so many great artists and I am sure people will be happy to see something better, more respectful and connected to our modern world.
Thanks for reading