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Italian Immigrants

2009. Sculptor: Giuseppe Martignetti
Location: Greyfriars roundabout, between bus station and police station.

Places > Bedford > Statues

Bedford Town Centre Book Home |The Sculpture | The Sculptor | Images

The Sculpture

Many Italians came from the south of Italy to live in Bedford, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s; most of the men to work in the brick industry around Stewartby and Brogborough. This large, striking and unusual, semi-abstract group sculpture in the Futurist style represents young families from the predominantly rural south of Italy (hence the animals) symbolically striding forward to a new life abroad. It is made of reinforced concrete covered with a metallic sheen and protected with an acrylic overglaze. Its title is Verso Domani, which means Towards Tomorrow. Its situation on a busy roundabout prevents us from safely taking a close look at it. The accompanying plaque reads (in the English translation): "In Memory of the Italian immigrants who came to Bedford. For those that left their home: our respect. For those who took a risk to find something better: our thanks. For those that are no longer with us: we remember them." Its original temporary location, at the northern end of the town bridge, almost opposite the Swan Hotel and the South African War statue, from 13 September 2009, proved not to be suitable, due to vulnerability to vandalism and it was moved to its present position in August 2011. This is appropriate since the annual saints day procession from the Italian Church passes the spot, not far from where Italian immigrants first settled in Bedford, an area which became known as Little Italy.

The Sculptor

Professor Giuseppe Martignetti, who had sisters who migrated to Bedford, both created and donated this sculpture to Bedford Borough. The Italian Festival Committee of Bedford paid for its transportation from Italy and Bedford Borough Council for its installation.


Italian Immigrants Sculpture Italian Immigrants Sculpture - Front view Italian Immigrants Sculpture - Back view alt="Italian Immigrants Sculpture - Portrait view"

Page last updated: 11th April 2014