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“Red Bench” at the Permanent Mission of Italy, symbolizing the commitment in the fight against gender-based violence.


In the framework of Italy’s constant commitment both at national and international level in the fight against all forms of violence against women and gender discrimination, the Permanent Mission of Italy in Geneva took the opportunity of the “red benches” initiative, promoted by the “Farnesina” at the entire Italian diplomatic-consular network, to connect the installment to the great Italian literary tradition, through the evocation of the most famous feminicide in world literature, the one perpetrated against Francesca da Rimini and made immortal by the verses of the Supreme Poet Dante Alighieri, who best expresses the power and grace of the Italian linguistic and artistic heritage.

Ambassador Vincenzo Grassi recited the world famous verses from Canto V of the Divine Comedy, engraved on a plaque affixed to the “red bench” in their English translation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, at a crowded unveiling ceremony that took place today in the premises of the Mission, with the intervention of the Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva, Tatiana Valovaya, and in the presence of, among others, the Permanent Representatives of the European Union, United States, Austria, Slovenia, Sweden, Hungary, Ukraine, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Moldova, Japan, the Mauritius Islands, to the local Representative of the World Bank, the Italian Director for Communication of the Geneva Office of the United Nations, the President of the local Dante Alighieri Society and numerous representatives of the “Gender Champions” group, committed to the promotion of gender equality, as well as the Apostolic Nuncio and the Ambassadors of Croatia and San Marino.

The ceremony highlighted the full sharing of values between the Constitution of the Italian Republican and the Charter of the United Nations, as solemnly reaffirmed in President Mattarella’s speech before the United Nations General Assembly on May 7, 2024.