The New York Times

11 June 2024

Prof. Narbone appeared on the New York Times

Lara Jakes of the New York Times interviewed our Director, Prof. Luigi Narbone, for an article titled “Italians Want to Tell Zelensky: Tear Down This Putin Plaque.” 

The article addresses the controversy surrounding a plaque signed by Vladimir Putin in the Basilica of St. Nicholas in Bari, which commemorates the friendship and cooperation between the city and Russia. In the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, this plaque has become a divisive symbol, with residents and members of the Ukrainian diaspora calling for its removal. 

Starting tomorrow, Italy will host the G7 right in Puglia where the plaque is located. Prof. Narbone commented that hosting the G7 – where measures against Putin’s war on Ukraine  will figure high on the agenda – in a location renowned for Russian pilgrimages to Italy may look like a sort of contradiction. He also noted that the plaque, installed during a period of warmer diplomatic ties, represents a symbol of Puglia’s role as a bridge between the East and the West, and underscores the importance of the  people-to-people dimension. Prof. Narbone said that maintaining this human linkage remains important, as it may facilitate the resolution of the conflict when the right time comes.

The article is available in English

Access the New York Times version.

Access the New York Times International Edition version.

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TG2

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