Ulrichs: The Restoration of His Grave
August 11, 2003: L'Aquila Begins Restoration
L'Aquila: Giorgio, a founder of the L'Aquila Gay Movement group, now known as the Ulrichs Study Center, emailed the photos. Since 2000, the walkway in front of the grave also appears to have been paved.
January 15, 2003: L'Aquila city councilors agree to fund the restoration of the grave of Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, the first known Gay activist.
When Ulrichs died in 1895, his remains were to be buried in a pauper's common grave. Niccolò Persichetti came to the rescue. He successfully called for funds, and Ulrichs was buried beside the Persichetti mausoleum. The gravestone was grand. It was a white marble slab about one yard by almost two yards, and a lengthy epitaph in Latin was chiseled into it. In September 2002, the head caretaker of the cemetery stated to Massimo Consoli that Ulrichs' grave could sink into oblivion within two or three years.
When Gays began to visit Ulrichs' grave twenty years ago, more than one person could not locate it. The snow, moss, lichen, and tree resin had broken the slab and completely obscured it.
In the 1990s, Gays from Göttingen, Germany, and Graz, Austria, and more recently, Gays in L'Aquila, used their own money and did their best to clean and repair the gravestone themselves. However, nature kept undoing their work.
In September 2002, Massimo Consoli, who has visited the grave every year since 1988, called on members of the Gay community to donate. Professional gravestone restorers had estimated the cost of restoring the stone -- approximately between Euro € 2.500 ($2,500) and € 3.372 ($3,372).
As of February 4, 2003, folks had donated the following (in Euros):
Massimo Consoli (Rome, Italy) 284,35
Bernd Aretz (Frankfurt, Germany) 100,00
Roberto Massari (Viterbo, Italy) 100,00
Proceeds from sale of Rosso Gayardo Wine: 58,00
Leonardo Castellani (Rome) 100,00
Andrea Furlan (Rome) 50,00
Lorenzo L. Gallo (Rome) 10,00
Antonio Trinchieri (Rome) 10,00
Hubert Kennedy (San Francisco, USA) 502,85
M. Lombardi-Nash/Paul Nash (Jacksonville, Florida) 97,47
DiGayProject (Rome) 105,21
Gruppo ORA (Rome) 40,00
Roberto Schena (Milan, Italy) 50,00
Muccassassina (Rome) 116,83
Giovanni Buzi (Brussels, Belgium) 50,00
Sebastian Klein (Cologne, Germany) 10,00
Eberhard Schefold (Munich, Germany) 50,00
Josef Parzinger (Traunstein, Germany) 50,00
Chiemgay (Traunstein) 50,00
Giuseppe Galizia (Rome) 10,00
Die Rosalila PantherInnen (Graz, Austria) 100,00
Total: € 1.944,71 (approximately $1,950)
If you would like to donate, here's the information on how to transfer funds or mail a check (specify "pro Ulrichs"):
To transfer funds:
From Italy:To send a check by mail:
From the rest of the world (USA included, of course):
Banco di Napoli, Marino, 27/2149, Italy
Anyway, from Italy (and ONLY from Italy) the easiest way is to use the postal account:
Ompo, via Einaudi 33
Luciano Massimo Consoli
via Einaudi 33
00040 Frattocchie (Rome)
What else made the L'Aquila city council members vote to restore Ulrichs' grave?A proposal to restore Ulrichs' grave appeared on the agenda of the Italian House of Parliament on November 27, 2002. The Honorable Franco Grillini discussed the condition of Ulrichs' grave. Grillini, supported by 15 other members of parliament including two from L'Aquila, proposed that the House take concrete action to restore Ulrichs' grave. "I intend to promote new initiatives both at the national and local level on this issue," Grillini said.
As a consequence of Grillini's action, L'Aquila City Councilmember Antonio Di Giandomenico submitted a similar proposal to members of the Comune of L'Aquila. Ulrichs' grave was presented as a national treasure and part of the national heritage.
Restoration of the stone, scheduled for spring 2003, will consist of piecing the broken parts together and of cleaning. The restored stone will rest on a granite slab. Massimo says he will maintain the "pro-Ulrichs" fund until the work is completed. Thereafter, refunds will be offered or suggestions accepted for spending the money on some other Ulrichs' project (for example, a translation of Alaudae [Larks], written in Latin in L'Aquila).
Reports in Italian:
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Return to Memory Book: Ulrichs' Jubilee
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