Sunday, 9 July 2017

On the Via Cesario Console with the monument to a forgotten war

Now the translation is not the best but the memorial on the Via Cesario Console is dedicated “To the Soldiers of the Earth, Sea and Land Falling In the Arrows Of Africa Advancing Domestic Terms Resolved To The World Mission” which I grant you is a bit of a mouthful.

And I am more than happy to concede that there is someone out there who can give a better version of the original, “Al soldati Della Terra Del Mare E Del Cielo Che Caddero Nelle Gverre D'Africa Avanzando I Termini Della Patria Risorta Alla Missione Mondiale.”

But essentially this is I think a memorial to those Italian soldiers who died fighting to establish a colonial empire in Africa.

Unlike Britain, France and some of the other European countries Italy came late to stabling an overseas empire but nevertheless by a mix of diplomacy and naked aggression managed to acquire  bits of North Africa, Somaliland, and China, but met with a humiliating defeat in its attempt to take part of Ethiopia.

So I rather think the memorial is about those African wars, and that raises that sticky question that not all war memorials will be judged in the same way.

In the case of those dedicated to Europe’s colonial wars they always omit any reference to the suffering of the peoples of  Africa and Asia who were killed during invasion of their countries and subsequently by the exploitation of their natural resources.

Location; Naples

Picture; war memorial on the Via Cesario Console, 2017 from the collection of Andrew Simpson

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