Italians furious as Croatia lays claim to Marco Polo

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Niccolo and Donkey
Italians furious as Croatia lays claim to Marco Polo

Telegraph UK

Nick Squires and Malcolm Moore

April 24, 2011

Italians have reacted with fury to an attempt by Croatia to claim the legendary explorer Marco Polo was one of their own.

The outcry came after a museum dedicated to the Venetian explorer in the Chinese city of Yangzhou was opened not by Italian dignitaries but by a former president of Croatia, Stjepan Mesic.

The exact date and place of Marco Polo's birth are unknown but most scholars believe he came from Venice. It has been argued by some historians, however, that he was born on the island of Korcula on the Adriatic coast, in what is today Croatia.

According to this theory, his father was a merchant from Dalmatia named Maffeo Pilic, who Italianised his surname to Polo when he established himself in Venice.

The museum was built in Yangzhou because Marco Polo was an official there from 1282 to 1284. Inaugurating the museum this month, Mr Mesic described Marco Polo as a "world explorer, born in Croatia, who opened up China to Europe".

Italy's leading broadsheet newspaper, Corriere della Sera , described the Croatian claim to Marco Polo as "ridiculous" and a "provocation".

"Attributing Croatian nationality to Marco Polo or anyone else born on the island at that time, just because it is now part of Croatia, is stretching historical facts too far," the paper said.
It pointed out that Garibaldi, the hero of the Risorgimento movement to unite Italy in the 19th century, was born in Nice but was never described as French.

The paper criticised Italian diplomats in China for allowing "someone as incredibly famous among the Chinese as (Marco Polo) to slip through their fingers, to the possible detriment of friendly relations, commerce and tourism".

Is Korcula, Croatia not correct?

At the time of Marco Polo's birth it would have been part of the Republic of Venice.

Niccolo and Donkey
Korcula is in Croatia. The Venedic for Korcula is 'Curzola'. The islands prior to the arrival of the Turks on the mainland most likely had majority Latin/Venedic/Roman populations with some Slavic as well, but the Croatian/Slavs moved to the islands en masse as the Turks swept through the Balkans.

Like everything in that region, the answer is complex.

I've been to Korcula. Fucking awesome. I like the church that still has pikes and swords by the doormin case the Turks attack.

President Camacho
Cool :thumbsup:

Sounds kind of like the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, with the Door of Humility forcing a crouched entry that prevented cavalry and other horsemen from entering.

And as the old story goes, long before this door was created when the troops of Persia (that is, of Zoroastrianism) penetrated into Palestine during the early 7th century it escaped destruction, the Persians apparently impressed with the similarity of the iconography to their own and especially the prominent icons of their ancestors, the Magi.
Niccolo and Donkey
Korcula is also home to a villa that was gifted to Sir Fitrzroy MacLean by Tito. MacLean, the conservative Scot, was the only foreigner allowed to own any dwelling in communist Yugoslavia. It was as reward for his time with Tito's Partisans and the role that he played in shifting British (and therefore Allied) support from the royalist Chetniks to them.
I didn't know that. Would have checked it out if I did.

Marco Polo was a Black man and son of Israel.


Fucking italians stole Christopher Colombus from us, now they taste their own medicine.

il ragno

Is it OK to call him "Jerko Polo" now?