24 August 2015

NYC #53: Dante, Broadway, Manhattan

A noticeboard outside the park states:

'Dante Park is named after Italy's great poet, Dante Alighieri (1265–1321). Born to a noble Florentine family, Dante immersed himself in the study of philosophy and Provençal poetry. In 1302 Dante was banished from Florence for his political views and became citizen of Italy. While in exile, he composed The Divine Comedy, the first vernacular poetic masterpiece. It tells of the poet's journey from Hell to Heaven, presenting a changeless universe ordered by God. Through The Divine Comedy and his many other works, Dante established Tuscan as the literary language of Italy and gave rise to a great body of literature.

The park's bronze monument was dedicated in 1921 (the 600th anniversary of Dante's death) and was created by sculptor Ettore Ximenes. The New York branch of the Dante Alighieri Society and Carlo Barsotti, editor of Il Progresso (the first Italian newspaper in the United States), raised funds towards the creation of the statue.'

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