Thursday, July 19, 2012

An appeal to the Italian-American community of New York / Un appello alla comunità italo-americana di New York

Signore e signori. Care amici. / Ladies and Gentlemen. Dear friends:

Here is a photograph of the distinguished/distinto New York City-based Italian immigrant Piccirilli Brothers (i Fratelli Piccirilli), master stone carvers/scalpellini of some of our town's and the country's greatest monuments/monumenti. You can read about their illustrious history/storia illustre and artistic accomplishments/realizzazione artistiche here/qui. Famed for carving the New York Public Library's iconic lions/leoni iconiche, the U.S.S. Maine Monument at the entrance/ingresso to Central Park, statuary/statuario on the NY Stock Exchange and the United States Capitol/il Campidoglio del Stati Uniti. They carved the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (La Tomba del Milite Ingnoto) in Arlington National Cemetery. They worked with the greatest/il più grande American architects and sculptors of their day: Carrère and Hastings, Daniel Chester French, Stanford White, et alia.

They also collaborated with the reknowned sculptor/scultore Frederick MacMonnies on the work of the statuary grouping known as "Civic Virtue" ("Virtù Civiche")- an artistic allegory depicting the conquering of Vice and Corruption (Vizio e Corruzione) in governmental affairs. This work of art was situated next to Queens Borough Hall for decades/decenni. It's tortured history - una vera storia tormentata!!! -can be read here/qui.
It was moved from it's original emplacement outside of City Hall in Manhattan because the then Mayor/Sindaco, a veritable artistic ignoramus / un vero ignorante artistico, Fiorello LaGuardia, it is said, could not stand looking at the statue's arse/culo. A person who hated his own heritage! /Odiava il proprio patrimonio! So it was shipped off to the "hinterlands" ("regioni arretrate") of Queens where it stood totally neglected, non-maintained, and exposed to the elements. This was the thanks that the great Italian-American Piccirilli Brothers were given by the civic authorities/autorità civili for the brothers' magnificent artistic endeavors. The statue stood there, ignored, unmaintained, and unloved/ ignorato, non mantenuto, e amati, through the years. But to make matters worse, the ignominy/ignominia of Political Correctness/Correttezza Politica reared its ugly head/brutta testa.

La statua fu considerata umiliante per le donne!! (The statue was considered demeaning to women!!) Why? It was alleged that the Conqueror, Civic Virtue, was slaying 2 women in the guise of snakes. Pandering-to-the public politicians, with nothing else to do, paraded in front of it demanding that it be sold off on Craigs List: here is the House of Representatives disgraced sex-pervert/sesso pervertito Anthony/Antonio Weiner opining on its merits. (If you look carefully, you can see, the ineffective/inefficace Ann/Anna Jawin of the Center for the Women of New York, standing under her umbrella/ombrello, like a Bobble-head doll/bambola, nodding in agreement.) -

There you have it folks. The statue, a sterling example of Italian-American artisanry/artigianato, has been castigated instead of honored. What is its message? It champions "civic virtue" - something that that should be lauded/lodato and not despised/disprezzato. It's future has yet to be written.  Help write it.  (Il futura deve essere scritto.  Aiutare a scrivere.)

A slap in the face to Italian-American endeavor?/ Uno sciaffo in faccia al sforzo italo-americano?

An insult to the legacy of the italian-american community?/Un insulto al retaggio dalla comunità italo-americana?

It is time to wake up! It is time for action!/È il momento di svegliarsi! È tempo per l'azione!

Don't let them steal it from you. Fix it! Honor your ancestry!/Non lasciarli a rubare da voi! Ripararlo! Onorare la vostra discendenza!


With kind regards, georgetheatheist / Saluti, giorgiol'ateo

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