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Gran Canaria, commemoration of the sinking of the ship “Sud America”

The Undersecretary of State for Defence, Giorgio Mulè, accompanied by the Italian Ambassador to Spain, Riccardo Guariglia, and the Defence Attaché in Madrid, Commander Simone Malvagna, laid a wreath at the monument in the cemetery of Las Palmas, on the island of Gran Canaria, commemorating the sinking of the passenger ship “Sud America” (which belonged to the Genoese company “La Veloce”) after being rammed by the steamer “France”.

This is the first time that a wreath has been laid at this monument by a member of the Government, testifying to the importance that Italy attaches to the history of Italian emigration. The ceremony was attended by local authorities and representatives of the Italian communities living in Las Palmas.

In the tragedy, which occurred on 14 September 1888, in the waters of the city’s port, six crew members and 81 Italian passengers drowned. The Italian ship was carrying migrants returning to Genoa from Rio de Janeiro.

Every year, on the anniversary of the disaster, a wreath is laid by the Honorary Consul in Las Palmas, José Carlos De Blasio, on the splendid marble monument – created at the time by a Genoese sculptor – depicting a turreted and grieving Italy under which lie the mortal remains of the victims of the sinking. 

As a rule, the crews of Italian military ships that call at the port of Las Palmas also visit the monument commemorating a little-known maritime 


las palmas 1

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