Croatia summoned the Italian Ambassador in Zagreb to protest the inauguration on Thursday of a statue of the proto-Fascist military adventurer Gabriele D’Annunzio in Trieste.
The statute was meant to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his occupation of Rijeka in 1919, referred to in Italian as Fiume.
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic condemned the inauguration, as it “celebrates Irredentism” of a city that “will remain a proud part of its Croatian homeland.”
D’Annunzio led the occupation of Fiume (Rijeka) in 1919 and emerged as one of the staunchest of Mussolini and the fascist movement. The Mayor of Trieste and member of the Forza Italia party said the statute was meant to celebrate “a great Italian” who deserves to be commemorated along with other poets, comparing D’Annunzio to Svevo, Joyce and Saba.
A Kingdom of Italy flag was flown in front of the Palazzo del Governatorato in Trieste while police in Rijeka arrested two Italians aged 19 and 20 with another Kingdom of Italy flag. Italy abandoned the monarchy in 1946.