Kvarner newsletter / no 37

Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral in Rijeka
Gabriele D'Annunzio's adventure in Rijeka: D'Annunzio – Christmas 1920

For those interested in history and its related thematic journeys, we would like to draw your attention to an exhibition being held in Rijeka. To shed light on historical events during the so-called 1920 Bloody Christmas in Rijeka, the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral is hosting the exhibition entitled "Gabriele D'Annunzio's adventure in Rijeka: D'Annunzio – Christmas 1920" until the 31st of March.

To mark the 90th anniversary of the upsetting events on the streets of Rijeka at Christmas 1920, Rijeka's Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral is hosting the exhibition that should shed some light on these historic events. The exhibition will remain open until the 31st of March.
The title of the exhibition reveals its subject: "Gabriele D'Annunzio's Rijeka Adventure: D'Annunzio – Christmas 1920". D'Annunzio was an Italian poet, dramatist and politician, whose literary work remains in the shadow of his political role in the first half of the 20th century.
Gabriele D'Annunzio is known as one of the most important members of the irredentist movement, and is considered by many as a true spiritual leader of the notorious Benito Mussolini. This is why his 1920 stay in Rijeka led to much bloodshed, which additionally contributed to the spreading of fascism in the area. More precisely, we are speaking about street fights between his troops and the official Italian army of that period.
The aim of this exhibition is to shed light on the circumstances of the emergence of the movements such as decadentism, futurism, and fascism, and on the events that preceded World War Two, which made Rijeka an important historical venue of that period.
Visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to view numerous photographs and documentary materials from the museum collection, and several films from that period. The exhibition also displays many items from the former Governor's Palace used by D'Annunzio during the 16 months of his ruling period in Rijeka.
It is interesting to mention that this exhibition is accompanied by the music from Claude Debussy's The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian, which he composed in collaboration with Gabriele D'Annunzio. By listening to this music, the audience will have the chance to experience D'Annunzio's dual personality of a poet and a tyrant.