Amid the ongoing controversy and tension in the US and Europe, flickered with the demise of George Floyd, the statue of Italian journalist Indro Montanelli who is said to have defended colonialism has been disfigured with terms like “rapist, racist” and painted red.
Well, the move was sparked by the protestors as Montanelli had admitted to marrying a 12-year-old girl while serving in the army from 1935-1936. He claimed that this tradition of marrying young girls was common among Eritrean soldiers back then and indirectly denied to comment on questions like raping the woman, he married.
Who was Montanelli?
He started his career in journalism by writing for the fascist newspaper Il Selvaggio (The Savage) and later joined as a reporter in New York’s United Press. In 1935, Indro went into the Italian colonial army but he left due to certain disillusionment later. He worked for many years at various media outlets and reported many major happenings including the front lines during World War 2.
He died in the year 2001.
Investigation on the attack on the statue
An investigation has been instigated by the Prosecutor Alberto Nobili from Milan’s prosecutors office under the possible charge of fouling. While speaking to the media professionals, Nobili said, “The penalty for such crime ranges from a fine of €103 to €1,000 ($115-$1,125) and between three months and a year in prison. Montanelli’s statue has been targeted before — on International Women’s Day in 2019, it was splashed with pink paint.”
A petition has also been filed in the request of removing the statue from the park in the city center. Meanwhile, the cleaning of the statue is under process.
The Mayor of Mila, Beppe Sala stated that Indro was indeed, “great journalist” and the statue shouldn’t be removed. Apparently, he mentioned that he’s watched the video in which Montanelli admitted he had bought the girl.
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