25 April 2007

Sensational Verdict From An Italian Tribunal: The Italian State Has No Jurisdiction Over Seborga!

A legal action that kept going for more than six years revives the fight for the recognition of the juridical sovereignty of the Principality of Seborga.
The contention is about the house where the Seborga Government resides. Several years ago, the owner of the building, Mr Italo Incollino, decided to reclaim his property lent to the Government by its ministers.
He tried but failed to evict the “tenant” and after several unsuccessful attempts to resolve the issue, the Government decided to suspend the payments. The owner took legal action through the Italian Court against the Seborga Government.
In the last six years the case was examined several times by four different judges without reaching a decision.
Finally, on the 5th of April 2007 the Judge, Ms.Erika Cannoletta of the Sanremo Trinunal, reached a stunning conclusion: the legal action cannot proceed because: “… it cannot subsist exclusive jurisdiction of a State not recognised by the Italian State but regarded as such by other communities and/or foreign States recognised by Italy”.
In other words, the Judge has suspended the verdict, sent the documentation to the Italian Constitutional Court (High Court) and informed the Prime Minister and the two Presidents of the Parliament and Senate of the matter.
In her explanation, the Judge has taken into consideration several historical facts.
As stated by Judge Cannoletta, in 1729 Vittorio Amedeo II stipulated the contract of purchase but the transaction was never recorded and as a result was not valid.
Nor was Seborga annexed to the Republic of Genoa (as it appears in the Aquisgrana Treaty) and was not mentioned in the Vienna Congress”.
Judge Cannoletta deferred the verdict by quoting the Italian Constitution, the Civil Code and a 1995 Italian law. In her final ruling, she analyses the concept of State, investigates the literature available on the subject, the legitimacy to exist in a case of non recognition and examines all these aspects in relation to Seborga.
In Seborga, the outcome was welcomed with a reaction of surprise and yet great satisfaction. In contrast to this almost unanimous response there was a strong negative reaction from one of the members of the Seborga Municipality, the councillor for Culture, Mr Gustavo Ottolenghi.
Speaking to a local newspaper the councillor contradicted the finding of the judge and declared that: “… Seborga is a town not a Principality. This administration wants to make this clear once and for all. At a folkloric and tourist level, Giorgio (the Prince) has done a lot for Seborga, but you cannot put in doubt the municipal institution”.
These very strong words have not been welcomed by the other members of the council nor by the population. For some, these words demonstrate some long held resentment against the Prince that the councillor has not yet dispelled. Mr Giorgio Pistone, curator of the Historical Library, author of several books on local history and Spokesperson for the Principality declared: “Ottolenghi was in the past a member of the Chivalry of the Crown but then was expelled by the Prince himself for high treason”.
Leaving aside personal grudges, in commenting on the judge’s ruling, Mr Pistone declared: “The judge has made a very thorough and articulate decision, with rigor and professionalism. She has opened for us a door that was closed for 20 years. Now we can proceed as soon as the Constitutional Court decides on the case”.
Mr Pistone explained: “If the Italian Constitutional Court recognises the Italian legal standing, we will appeal to the European Court for the Human Rights. If the Constitutional Court does not recognise the Italian legal standing, it will mean that Italy is recognising the juridical sovereignty of Seborga”. The Seborgans could not wish for more from this development.
There is no doubt that what lies ahead is an interesting season for Seborga, full of surprises. Whatever the outcome, the Principality will continue to generate news and the rest of the world will continue to try to understand the complexity of the reality of this tiny territory in the Ligurian region that has for many years claimed its sovereignty.
Coincidently, the German national broadcaster has commissioned a half hour television documentary on the history of Seborga and the Principality. The project has already made a start with the research and preparation of the scripts and the filming should take place this August.

Italy-Moldava: Future Cultural and Artistic Exchanges Between the Two Countries

On the 3rd of April a meeting was held at the Moldova Embassy in Rome with the Ambassador, Dr Nicolae Dudau, the First Secretary of the Embassy Mrs Stela Dudau, the artistic director Mr Pepi Morgia and the voluntary worker from Seborga in the World Association, Mrs Cristina Leahu.
The aim of the meeting was to discuss the feasibility of intercultural exchange between Italy and Moldova. Ms Stella Stangaci, First Secretary of the embassy, explained that the political and trade exchange agreement between the two countries is going ahead but the cultural ones are sporadic and not well organised.
In this context the proposal from Mr Morgia is to invite artists here from Moldova was welcomed with interest and enthusiasm by the embassy. This August Mr Morgia will visit Moldova with the Seborga Association to meet the local artists and establish a proposal for their visit to Italy.
The ambassador has promised to facilitate these exchanges by providing administrative assistance. The proposal is to invite several musical groups in Italy such as “Zdob si Zdub”, Natalia Barbu and consecutively the groups Joc and Codreanca, a renowned classical dance group and winner of several international awards. (In the photo: the Ambassador Dr. Nicolae Dudau; the artistic Director Pepi Morgia, Ms Stela Stengaci and Ms Cristina Lehau)

The Taggiasche Olives of Seborga

He has worked with Gualtiero Marchesi in Milan, Alain Ducasse in Monte Carlo, at Le Gavroche in London and with the maestro of pastry making Pierre Hermé of Fauchon in Paris.

The three stars of the Michelin guide were his identity card when the chef Davide Oldani chose to go back to his Lombardy region to open the D’O, a small restaurant, or rather a “trattoria” in Cornaredo.
The restaurant offers a traditional cuisine, using products of high quality but of local origin, allowing him to keep the prices down. It is a “democratic” deal that at the same time does not forget the lessons from the great masters. In this type of cuisine you cannot avoid olive oil, in particular that from Taggiasche olives* produced in Seborga by Vittorio Corsini.
“I prefer this type of oil for its delicacy and sweetness and for its flavour which does not overtake too much”, explain Orlandi. He has his own philosophy for using the olive oil in the kitchen that clearly has always to be extra virgin.
“Mine is a traditional cuisine where fat and fried mixtures are eliminated, therefore even if the extra virgin olive oil is part of the non saturated fat it has to be used very sparingly and preferably raw, otherwise it will take over the flavours of the dishes” - says Orlandi – “if the oil is good it can give the right aroma even if I use only a tea spoon”.

*Produced from the Taggiasche Olives, a quality that is typically Ligurian from the western Riviera, which are dark-green and small in size. Plants that give this type of olive are centuries old and were planted in ancient times by the monks and cultivated on terraces overlooking the sea.

(Extract from an article published by Vinitaly, a renown Wine & Spirits Trade Exhibition held every year in Verona, Italy).

The Consulate in Castellarano Officially Opened

On 30th March the site of the Honorary Consulate of the principality of Seborga in Castellarano (Italy) was officially opened.
Present at the event were members of the Consulate, the Deputy Mayor of the city, the cultural councilor, members of the public and several representative of the local media.
Of particular interest was the presentation on the many historical aspects of history and freedom that the Principality represents.
Among the projects presented: activities to promote the human rights awareness, conferences on history, culture and geopolitics and the project to open a Priorate of Chevaliers appointed by HRH Giorgio I.

04 April 2007

The Spring Fete of Seborga

The Municipality of Seborga and the Pro-Seborga Association have organised, once again this year, the traditional Festa di Primavera (Spring Fete), the floral art competition "Old Principality of Seborga".
This year's edition (the 7th) will take place on the 7, 8 and 9 of April along the picturesque streets and lanes of Seborga and consists of the display of floral compositions combined with creative works of local artists.
The artistic arrangements will take place in the actual streets and narrow lanes of the Principality and will be completed by the artists no later than Saturday afternoon the 7th.
More information can be obtain by calling the Seborga Tourist Office: 0184-223859.

Seborga at the Nice Fair

Seborga participated with success at this year's NICE FAIR (10-19 March) together with the twin city of Escarence (France).
Seborga was present with a stall well prepared and furnished with panoramic pictures, video presentations of cultural and tourist events and a display of products from local shops and restaurants.
As well as the many brochures distributed by both cities, 1500 bouquets of broom were also offered to the many visitors.
The Mayor of Seborga, Franco Fogliarini, expressed great satisfaction given the fact that the organisers of the event awarded the Seborga stand first prize for the stand with the warmest welcome.