Italian parliament approves return of National Hall to minority

Rome, 1 December - The Italian Chamber of Deputies has put into law a government decree on the transfer of National Hall in Trieste thus giving the go-ahead for the process to start to return it to the Slovenian community there.

Trieste, Italy
National Hall (Narodni Dom) in Trieste.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA
File photo

According to a report by the Trieste-based Slovenian newspaper Primorski Dnevnik, the Mario Draghi government has pegged the passage of the decree to a vote of confidence which it won in a broad majority.

With the expected vote of confidence, the government substantially limited debate on the multi-purpose decree while annulling all 46 amendments, including a proposal to remove the provision on National Hall tabled by deputies Francesco Sapia and Andrea Colletti, who were elected for the Five Star Movement.

The government adopted a decree in early October amending the 2001 minority protection act to provide for the gratuitous transfer of the building to the National Hall Foundation.

The Italian parliament has thus met the commitment from the agreement signed during last year's ceremony marking the centennial of the torching of the building by the Fascists. The signing in Trieste was overseen by the Italian and Slovenian presidents, Sergio Mattarella and Borut Pahor.

Designed by the architect Maks Fabiani, National Hall was built in 1904 to serve as the cultural and economic hub of the Slovenian community in Trieste. On 13 July 1920 it was torched by Italian nationalists and Fascists.

© STA, 2021