One of the most interesting sculpture in the city center of Piacenza, it’s the one dedicated to the lawyer Gian Domenico Romagnosi, placed in Piazzetta S. Francesco.
Romagnosi was born in Salsomaggiore on the 11th December 1761 in a wealthy family which managed to keep him studying in some prestigious cultural environnements like Collegio Alberoni in S. Lazzaro and after that helping him to reach a law Degree with full marks in the University of Parma. Giandomenico Romagnosi is considered one of the most important Italian intellectual figure of the XIX century. His role was an example for the future generations who were involved and engaged in the Italian Risorgimento.
Romagnosi died on the 8th June 1835 in Milano.
He left a deep lack in the legal environment, which was remembering as one of the most prominent authority of Italy. His great attitude through his open mind, great and serious training and gave him a forward-looking vision on the law.
Around 1865 in the city council, it pop out the scketch of a sculpture of Giandomenico Romagnosi.
It’s important to remember that the land of Salsomaggiore was beloging to Piacenza. Cristoforo Marzaroli, the author of the sketch and then of the sculpture came from the same place.
It was organized a committee responsible fot the evaluation of different sketches for a possibile placing of the sculpture in S. Francesco Square, around Cavalli Square.
The costant effort to the liberal and national movement of Romagnosi and the setting of the marble sculpture turn its back to San Francesco church, it was interpreted as a sacrilegious act.
For this reason, the tradition it’s telling that the Clergy of Piacenza decided to install the famous coloumn in the center of the Cathedral Square, with on top the sculpture of Virgin Mary.
Since the installation of Romagnosi sculpture took place, many attempts to move it somewhere else happened.
The issue became more popular in 1958, because of the starting of the construction of the third building lot in Calvalli Square. Because of some spaceneeds for the construction site, the Romagnosi sculpture was temporarily moved to give more space.
On the 20th May 1958 the Romagnosi sculpture, which weighted 60 tons, was raised and moved to the Aberoni School.
From a press article of that time: “[…] The worthy sculpture, with all the cares because of its important weight, was loaded on a carriage drown by two horses. The situation appeared as a funeral image […]”.
The building wors started and the Romagnosi sculpture was abandoned for some years in the Alberoni School. During the Springtime in 1965 the Famiglia Piasinteina Group reopened the issue, they were insisting to get a worthy and official display for the sculpture.
From this discussion between experts and historians who created many different opinions and long conflicts, but the final decision was taken by the city administration. On the 11th 1965, the newspaper Libertà wrote” The Romagnosi monument will come back to Cavalli Square”.
The installtion happened during march 1966 and the sculpture was placed exactly where it was some years before.