Monday, 11 June 2012

The Ioannis Kapodistrias statue

   One of the most beautiful statues in Greece can be found on the southern end of Spianada ("Esplanade") just across the road from the Ionian Academy building.
   Kapodistrias was the first governor of Greece. He was born in Corfu from a noble family which its roots can be traced  in the old venetian town of Capo d'Istria (today known as Koper in Slovenia). He served as minister of foreign affairs of the Russian Empire but he returned to his homeland in 1828 to become the first governor of independent Greece. His tenure was very sucessful but he was hated by some rich greek families. When in 1831 Kapodistrias ordered the imprisonment of Petrobey Mavromichalis, a well known rebelion from Mani, his family took it as an offence and on October 9th, 1831 Petrobey's brother Konstantis and his son Georgios assessinate him in Nafplion, the first greek capital.
   Today Kapodistrias is greatly honoured in Greece. The statue was sculpted by Leonidas Drosis and his student Georgios Xenakis using the famous marble of mount Pentelikon in Attica. It was placed in 1887 on the site where originally stood the Douglas obelisk

   The  view from the Kapodistrias statue.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

See the story about the black armband that appeared on the statue in 1942, when his namesake (the descendant of Count John's brother George) was appointed Nomarch by the Italian occupiers in World War II: pages 172-173, "The Ionian Islands and Epirus, A Cultural History".
There are also some dubious conspiracy theories about who was really behind the assassination of Count John Capodistrias in 1831.