(ANSA) – BARI, APRIL 01 – A peace flag was tied this morning to the statue of St. Nicholas, positioned in front of the Basilica in the historic center of Bari and donated to the city in 2003 by Russian President Vladimir Putin. It is the symbolic gesture of the photographer and artist from Bari Teresa Imbriani, in the aftermath of the controversy over the opportunity to remove the statue precisely because it was donated by the President of the Russian Federation, as a sign of solidarity with the people of Ukraine. “I wanted to make this small symbolic gesture but visible to many who cross this square every day – explains the artist – because I do not share the idea of removing the statue, but of considering it yet another tool to send a message of peace”.
In recent weeks, in fact, an online petition was launched that reached almost 18 thousand signatures in a few days, to remove the plaque with Putin’s signature from the statue of the saint of Myra, which bears a dedication to the people of Bari “in the name of friendship and cooperation between the two peoples “. “Having a dedication from Vladimir Putin after what happened in Ukraine in front of one of the most important religious monuments in the region – the petition reads – is a disgrace in the eyes of the world. It should be eliminated immediately and replaced by a message of peace and friendship with the Ukrainian population that is shielding the whole of Europe with its bodies and courage “. To that statue, in the days immediately following the beginning of the conflict, the mayor of Bari Antonio Decaro had brought flowers “as a gesture of solidarity” to the Ukrainian people. (HANDLE).
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