When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

LA STAMPA

The Sort-Of Italian Job: Fake Nation Rocked By Online Coup

An upstart from Savoy has challenged the royal authority of Marcello I, prince of the unofficially unrecognized so-called Principality of Seborga.

The past is alive on the walls of Seborga
The past is alive on the walls of Seborga
Giulio Gavino

TURIN— A coup d'état has rocked the so-called Principality of Seborga, an unofficial state in the hinterlands of Italy"s Liguria region that insists it is an independent entity because a 1729 sales agreement with the Kingdom of Sardinia was never officially transcribed.

Four years ago, Seborga citizens elected Marcello Menegatto, or Marcello I, as their prince. But recently, a Frenchman named Nicolas Mutte, from lower Savoy, issued an online proclamation asserting his leadership over the principality and detailing plans for the fantasy state's development and economic welfare. Mutte, for the record, calls himself Nicolas I.

The coup came about quietly. But it did prompt a reaction from Marcello I, who ordered Mutte and his supporters not to use the principality's symbols or coat of arms, and above all, to shut down the website on which the proclamation appears.

He also stripped Marcel Mentil — an established Seborga historian and former royal consultant whose relatives manage the offending website — of his citizenship in the principality.

[rebelmouse-image 27090086 alt="""" original_size="468x333" expand=1]

Welcome to the "principality of Seborga" — Photo: Gminguzzi

Marcello I, back from a trip to Dubai, where he met with Sheikh Muhammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum to strengthen diplomatic ties, has made his position abundantly clear to his "subjects," and has found ample support against the conspirators.

"The prince of Seborga is elected by the citizens by law, and I am the elected prince," he thundered.

Clearly, Italy does not recognize the principality, and the town does have an actual mayor and city hall. Nevertheless, the tourism industry around this fantasyland has flourished, giving a boost to local artisans. Visitors get to see the "Luigini," coins made in the principality and said to have a value equal to the U.S. dollar.

It's also true that without the protection of the prince's guards, local history and lore would have attracted far less attention, and the town wouldn't be nearly so well off.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Society

How Iran's Women-Led Protests Have Exposed The 'Islamist Racket' Everywhere

By defending their fundamental rights, Iranian women are effectively fighting for the rights of all in the Middle East. Their victory could spell an end to Islamic fundamentalism that spouts lies about "family values" and religion.

Protests like this in Barcelona have been sparked all over the world to protest the Tehran regime.

Davide Bonaldo/SOPA Images via ZUMA
Kayhan London

-Editorial-

Iran's narrow-minded, rigid and destructive rulers have ruined the lives of so many Iranians, to the point of forcing a portion of the population to sporadically rise up in the hope of forcing changes. Each time, the regime's bloody repression forces Iranians back into silent resignation as they await another chance, when a bigger and bolder wave of protests will return to batter the ramparts of dictatorship.

It may just be possible that this time, in spite of the bloodshed, a bankrupt regime could finally succumb to the latest wave of protests, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of the so-called "morality police."

Women have always played a role in the social and political developments of modern Iran, thanks in part to 50 years of secular monarchy before the Iranian Revolution of 1979. And that role became the chief target of reaction when it gained, or regained, power in the early days of 1979, after a revolution replaced the monarchy with a self-styled Islamic republic.

Whether it was women's attire and appearance, or their rights and opportunities in education and work, access to political and public life or juridical and civil rights — all these became intolerable to the new clerical authorities.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ