We request on Change.org that the Municipality of Prague consider naming a public space (either a street, or a square or garden) after the distinguished Italian bohemist and poet Angelo Maria Ripellino, on the occasion this year of the centenary of his birth and the 50th anniversary of the publication of his masterpiece, the essay-novel “Magic Prague.”
Angelo Maria Ripellino, who was born in Palermo in 1923 and died in Rome in 1978, was an eminent 20th-century Italian intellectual and a tireless mediator and ambassador of Czech culture in Italy and around the world.
Academic, poet, translator, journalist and literary and theatre critic, he devoted his entire life to his love of Czech culture and literature, becoming an indispensable torchbearer for Slavic studies.
He first came to Prague in 1947 to teach a course in Italian Literature at the Italian Cultural Institute. There he met his future partner, Elisa (Ela) Hlochová, who guided him in his discovery of Czech literature and became his irreplaceable collaborator in translating Czech prose and poetry into Italian.
After being ostracized in the 1950s by the regime of the time, Ripellino spent significant periods of his life in Prague and Bohemia in the 1960s, establishing deep ties with its cultural elite. He collaborated and forged friendly relationships with Czech writers, poets, academics and intellectuals.
As a correspondent for the weekly magazine “L’Espresso,” he followed the evolution of the Prague Spring until its tragic conclusion on August 21, 1968, when he took a position firmly condemning the Soviet invasion. As a result, the normalization of regime minimized his chances of returning to Prague to the point of extinguishing them altogether, and he ended up not seeing it again until his death.
His celebrated essay-romance “Magic Prague,” published in Italy by Edizioni Einaudi in 1973, is a hauntingly beautiful and compelling book. Translated into numerous foreign languages, it has played a crucial role in promoting in Italy and around the world the myth of Prague as a “melting pot of Bohemian, Yiddish and German culture,” and in extolling the unique charm that this city is capable of emanating.
The entire oeuvre of Angelo Maria Ripellino lives on, a perennial symbol of dialogue and cultural exchange between Italy and the Czech Republic.
For these reasons, we request that the City of Prague honour his memory by naming a public space (a street, square, or garden, preferably in the Prague 1 area) after him. This gesture would perpetuate his legacy and dedication to Czech culture.
La petizione è su Change.org – link: https://chng.it/8pYv92WHZS