‘Tied Together’: Riverfront Park Sculpture Ties Spokane to Italian Sister City

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A new 1,300-pound marble monument showcasing the artistic traditions of Cagli, Italy, and linking the small town to Spokane is on permanent display at Connections Garden in Riverfront Park.

Cagli is Spokane’s newest sister city, a relationship established in 2016. Spokane’s other sister cities are Nishinomiya, Japan; the city of Jilin, China; Limerick, Ireland; and Jecheon, Korea.

The Spokane Sister Cities Association dedicated the Carrara marble “Teatro and Torrione” monument, as well as a locally produced “Kokanee steel” monument in a ceremony Saturday at the Spokane Pavilion in Riverfront Park.

“Now Spokane and Cagli, Italy are bonded together,” Tony Anderson, of Sister Cities International and the Order of the Sons and Daughters of Italy in America, told the more than 50 people in attendance at the Pavilion.

Ettore Gambioli, who worked on some of the most important historic buildings in central Italy, created the marble statue. Gambioli depicted the ceiling of the Teatro communale (1878), or community theater, and Torrione Martiniano (1481), a tower that is now a museum, on the monument.

Elisabetta Valentini, Honorary Consul of Italy, read aloud a message from Gambioli, who was not present at the ceremony.

“The message of this sculpture is to represent the city of Cagli with two of the most important symbols,” Gambioli wrote. “Making this sculpture gave me the opportunity to pay homage to the city of Cagli and Spokane.

The colorful Kokanee Monument, created by Spokane artists Melissa Cole and Brad McDonald, represents the fish once abundant in the Spokane River and the indigenous peoples of the region.

“It is only through the inclusion of our world’s cultures, our education and our arts here locally, while treating everyone fairly, that we will ever gain a deservedly diverse community, which will be the city.” of choice for future generations, ”former Mayor David Condon told the crowd on Saturday.

John Caputo, president of the Association of Sister Cities of Spokane, said ahead of the ceremony that the relationship with Cagli started because Caputo, also a professor at Gonzaga University, took students from Gonzaga to Cagli over the years. last two decades. He said an exchange program sends 10 students from Spokane to Cagli and 10 students from Cagli to Spokane each summer.

“At a time when we are focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, I think it’s paramount that we continue the vision of building relationships that are truly based on friendship,” said Condon.


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