Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Lion of Saint Mark Unchained

Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II, Monument to Victor Emmanuel II by Ettore Ferrari, Riva degli Schiavoni, Venezia
The Lion of Saint Mark freed from his chains after annexation of Venetia by Italy
Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II by Ettore Ferrari, 1887
Riva degli Schiavoni, Castello
Venice, September 2012

See also: Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II - Lion of Saint Mark in Chains

“Venetia was annexed to Italy in 1866, five years after the Italian unification and the creation of the Kingdom of Italy under the House of Savoy in 1861. The unification of Veneto with Italy was the result of the so-called Third War of Independence and a plebiscite held on held on 21 and 22 October 1866. In the peace treaty signed in Vienna on 3 October 1866, it was written that the annexation of Venetia would have been subjected to the consensus of the Venetian people, properly consulted: it is unclear whether there would have been another choice from becoming Italian, nor the treaty was more precise on how to consult the people. The territory was furthermore ceded to France (under a treaty signed by General Karl Moering, on behalf of the Emperor of Austria, and General Edmond Le Bœuf, on behalf of the Emperor of the French), which would have ceded it to Italy after the plebiscite, but Venetia was already under the Italian sovereignty after the French government renounced to it on 19 October 1866. This increases doubts on the real importance of the plebiscite and leading historians suggest that the referendum in Venetia was held under military pressure, as a mere 0.01% of voters (69 out of more than 642,000 ballots) voted against the annexation and a mere 0.1% (567 ballots) was null, and that it was ultimately rigged. Some historians also suggest that the referendum was a mere administrative affair to Italy, just to formalize the sovereignty on a territory already under its possession, and that no real choice nor free vote was granted to the local population, after having investigated into the historical archive of the Austrian Foreign Office. The plebiscite could have been a mere demonstration to gain legitimacy after the bad conduct of Italy during the war.”
(Annexation of Veneto by Italy, Venetian nationalism, Wikipedia)


Dina said...

Ah, the lion unchained. The best way for him to be.

cieldequimper said...

I cannot believe I didn't know that France renounced Venetia. Trust the French not to know what's good for them.

Gorgeous lion.