Events took place in Italy to commemorate Nicholas II
On September 23, 2018 the Italian town of Taormina hosted commemorative events to honor Nicholas II, the last Russian Emperor.
Vladimir Yakunin, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation of Saint Andrew the First-Called, thanked Taormina citizens for their hospitality. He reminded that in 1908 Nicholas II ordered to moor and help citizens of Messina who were suffering from a terrible earthquake. Also, the Emperor allocated 50,000 francs to support the victims. Nobody could say whether the earthquake could repeat – the Russian sailors were putting their lives at risk. According to Vladimir Yakunin, if not for those tragic events the stressful political situation could have burst earlier. The Foundation of Saint Andrew the First-Called is proud that thanks to support from the Taormina authorities it became possible to erect the monument to the historical figure, the person with tragic destiny. He and his family, who had been killed, were consecrated saints. “When we are standing near the monument we should remember those tragic events. Bad peace is better than the best of wars” – were the final words of Vladimir Yakunin.
Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation in Sicily Giovanni Ricevuto called the ancient town of Taormina the place of friendship. He reminded that Nicholas II visited this place and that a commemorative token had been placed in Teatro Vittorio Emanuele in Messina to remember the love people felt reconstructing Messina. “People of Messina have not forgotten about it. And the authorities of Taormina have not forgotten about it either. That is why they helped create the sculpture of Nicholas II” – Giovanni Ricevuto concluded.
Lucia Gabezhka, Chairperson of the Taormina city council, welcomed the gathered people on behalf of the local authorities. She expressed gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Yakunin and to Giovanni Ricevuto. “It is important for us to hold cultural events. Culture is a bridge between the two countries. Even if the countries are very different. It is possible to overcome this difference. Today our countries experience a historical moment. Russian people love Italy and citizens of Taormina like Russian people very much. We see that based on the growing touristic visits” – said Lucia Gabezhka.