Portrait Gallery

The Washington Post

Dec 2, 1921, Page 2.


Glowing Words by Viviani at Unveiling Cement Anew, the Friendship of Nations.

Chevalier Barsotti, Donor, Says Gift Is Thank Offering for Peace — Statue Accepted.

With Minnie Elizabeth Sherrill and Clarence Caldwell Sherrill, children of Col. C. O, Sherrill, officer in charge of public buildings and grounds, pulling sturdily on the ropes that bound the cloth covering, the great bronze statue of Dante Alighleri was uveiled in the Meridian Hill park yesterday afternoon, impressive exercises and a gathering of world-known figures marking the event. When the veil surrounding the statue fluttered to the ground a work of art, depicting the great Italian poet in a contemplative mood, was plaeed in view of, hundreds of persons gathered to honor the poet.

Taught Lesson of Faith.

Chevaller Carlo Barsotti, head, of the Dante memorial commission, of New York, and donor of the statue, declared that reverence for Dante, good will “for the success of the noble work started by America in the Interests of world-peace and last, but not least, the desire to show in tangible form our love, devotion, and loyalty to this great nation were the moving spirits which prompted this gift.” “Dante, with matchless power, taught the lesson of faith's victory, of the soul triumphant, of the strength that alone gives the mastery of life and can not know defeat,” he said.

Nations in Love Feast.

French and Italians held a love feast at the unveiling of the monument. The Italians invited the head of the French delegation, M. Rene Viviani, In order to show that Italy had forgotten the unkind words alleged to have been uttered about her in the conference by M. Briand.

M. Viviani, France's great orator, made a moving speech, which drew great applause from the Italians present. M. Viviani spoke in glowing words of the friendship between France and Italy.

“My words, flying through space,” he said, “will tomorrow be in Italy. As they leave my heart they will find their way to the hearts of the Italians. We belong to the same families and, so far as I am concerned, I shall never forget the sacred memories and the heroic emotions which a war waged together imprinted on my soul as in a sanctuary, and which I wish you to see.”

Ambassador Ricci also made an address in praise of the poet and the nations represented on the occassion.

Accepted by Rudolph.

Accepting the statue on behalf of the city, Commissioner Rudolph said “The selection of the location for the statue is a particularly happy choice in that it is in what is destined to become one of the most beautiful sections of the National Capital. In designating the site, the fine arts commission has again given evidence of its excellent judgment, and at the same time of its appreciation of intrinsic merit of the monument and of the sentiment which inspired its erection. This spot will prove a popular resort to hosts of students, writers, painters and sculptors who visit the Capital from all parts of the world.”

The commissioner congratulated Ximenes, the sculptor, and thanked Chevalier Barsotti, who made the presentation.

Though President and Mrs. Harding were there, neither took any part in the exercises, except as observers. Many of the arms conference delegates and officials of the foreign embassies attended the unveiling. The speakers' platform was gayly colored with the dress uniforms of members of the armies and navies of many of the countries.

Monsignor C. F. Thomas. rector of St. Patrick&apo;s church, and Bishop Harding, pronounced the benediction and invocation, respectively.

Italy and France Unite Under Dante, The Washington Post, Dec 2, 1921; pg. 2.