Monumento ai Martiri di Belfiore

On 11 October 1866, when Austrian dominion over Mantua had officially ended and the city was returned to the Italian authorities, the Mantuan people went on a pilgrimage to Valletta di Belfiore, where nine members of the vast Mazzinian conspiracy had been hanged between 7 December 1852 and 19 March 1853.
The Mazzinian Revolt for independence and the Republic developed in Lombardy and Veneto from 1850 to 1852.
The Committee for the monument had formed immediately thereafter.
It collected the necessary money and commissioned the work to the sculptor of Ostiglia, Pasquale Miglioretti (1822-1881), who proposed to represent in figure of a "genie of Independence" the idea that the sublime sacrifice had inspired.
Miglioretti took inspiration from the "Génie de la Liberté", the statue by Auguste Dunont that stands on the July Column in Place de la Bastille in Paris.
The Mantuan genie also stands on a base which contained the relics of the martyrs and and bore their likenesses on its walls.
It was dedicated on 7 December 1872, and that was also the occasion of a clash between the official speaker, the monarchy sustainer Giuseppe Finzi, who avoided talking about the republican inspiration of the conspiracy, and the democratic sustainer Paride Suzzara Verdi, who took the floor to remind the crowd that equality, fraternity and the Republic had been the conspirators’ guiding principles.
Originally placed at the centre of the current Piazza Sordello, the monument was dismantled in 1930 and remounted in 2002, on the initiative of the municipal administration at the entrance of the gardens of Belfiore.
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