Manifestazione Naples

Manifestazione Naples

Naples, 15 March 2003
118 x 168 cm

A polyptych photographic work

5 images all b/w silver prints on fibre-based paper

Demonstration in Piazza Duomo against the Italian Royal Family reclaiming property confiscated at the end of WW2

Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples, formerly Crown Prince of Italy born 13 February 1937 is the only son of the Umberto II, the last King of Italy. He is commonly known in Italy as Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia. Although the titles and distinctions of the Italian royal family have not been legally recognised in Italy since 1946, he is often styled Prince of Naples out of courtesy, particularly by supporters of the former monarchy.

On several occasions he has been the centre of controversy in Italy and abroad due to a series of incidents, including remarks that were seen by some as anti-semitic. In France he was tried on a murder charge, of which he was cleared of unlawful killing but convicted of a firearms offence. More recently, Vittorio Emanuele was arrested on 16 June 2006, following an investigation started by Henry John Woodcock of the Public Prosecutor's Office in Potenza, Italy, on charges of criminal association, corruption and exploitation of prostitution.  A trial on these charges began in Potenza, Italy on 21 December 2009. He has been also listed among the members of the illegal pseudo-Masonic lodge called P2, accused by the magistrates of being a criminal organisation.

Upon his first visit in March 2003 to Naples, where Vittorio Emanuele was born, and from where his family sailed into exile in 1946, the reception of the Savoys was mixed; many people were indifferent to them, some hostile, few supportive. The media reported that many in Naples were not happy to see the return of the family, when hundreds of noisy demonstrators chanted negative slogans as they progressed through the city.  Demonstrations were staged by two traditionally opposing factions: anti-monarchists on one hand, and supporters of the Bourbon Kings of the Two Sicilies, whose family was deposed when Italy was united in 1861 under the House of Savoy.

This was another example of social power, which is the coming together of disparate individuals to share an experience, and in this case to voice their opposition.

Exhibition provenance

Hafnarborg Institute of Culture and Fine Art, Hafnarfjorour, Iceland, 2007