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ITALY: Milan refuses to remove statue of journalist who had Eritrean child bride

Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala on Sunday resisted calls to remove the statue of the late Indro Montanelli, who had acknowledged having had a 12-year-old Eritrean bride during Italy’s colonial occupation in the 1930s.

The colonial past of a highly revered Italian journalist has become a flashpoint in Italy’s Black Lives Matters protests. Detractors defaced a statue in his honour and sought its removal from a city park near where he was once attacked by the far-left Red Brigades.

Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala on Sunday resisted calls to remove the statue of the late Indro Montanelli, who had acknowledged having had a 12-year-old Eritrean bride during Italy’s colonial occupation in the 1930s.

Sala said in a Facebook video that he was perplexed by “the lightness” with which Montanelli had confessed to having bought the child bride from her father, in a widely circulated video of a 1969 talk show appearance. But he said “lives should be judged in their totality.”

Red paint is seen on a statue of late Italian journalist Indro Montanelli, in Milan, northern Italy, Sunday, June 14, 2020

“Montanelli was more than that. He was a great journalist, a journalist who fought for the liberty of the state, an independent journalist. Maybe for these reasons he was shot in the legs,” Sala said, referring to the 1977 attack on Montanelli by two members of the Red Brigades terror organization near the park that now bears his name. “For these reasons, I think the statue should remain.”

The colonial past of a highly revered Italian journalist has become a flashpoint in Italy’s Black Lives Matters protests. Detractors defaced a statue in his honour and sought its removal from a city park near where he was once attacked by the far-left Red Brigades.

Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala on Sunday resisted calls to remove the statue of the late Indro Montanelli, who had acknowledged having had a 12-year-old Eritrean bride during Italy’s colonial occupation in the 1930s.

— EUROnews