The Committee for the protection of the urban outfit of Trieste                                                                                             

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       CO.SA.PU. – the Italian acronym stands for “Committee for the Protection of the Urban Landscape” – was created in 1999 by a group of people concerned with the preservation of the streets and squares of Trieste’s city centre. More specifically, they concentrate on the fate of the “masegni”, the old slab stones used for paving the streets. These stones are of local extraction and up to now well preserved thanks to their thickness.

    Some of these old pavements date back to the second half of the 18th century, others to the second half of the 19th century. During two centuries, these stones have withstood the passage of five armies with their carriages and tracked vehicles, as well as intense civilian and commercial traffic to and from the port. In the first half of the 19th century, Stendhal presented these pavements as an example for the whole of Europe. Because of their colour, the stones gave to Trieste the name of “White City”, as described by the Marquis de Sade in one of his novels.


   During the last twenty years, successive Public Administrations, by ignorance and lack of consideration, have allowed the demolition of many of these pavements. Contractual works done by utilities companies and the Harbour Authority contributed to the devastation by causing irreparable damage. Some of the stones were sold under the counter to private persons and companies.


         These “masegni” – together with other elements of the urban habitat such as porches, kerbs, sidewalks and fountains, mostly dating back to the “Theresian” period under the enlightened Austrian-Hungarian rule – present not only a high historical and esthetical value, but also a commercial value completely underestimated by the Public Authorities we have contacted.

     It's not possible that while in Trieste is happening this, in other  towns close us, like Dubrovnick (Croatia), every single stone is gently taked care.


       At last something is bringing forward : the Superintendence set some limits, also in merit of the law n. 42 of 2004, that safeguard any work older than fifty years, and Trieste Municipality is conforming itself. It's our first goal but we must not surrender : we'll go on to attend every public work and to denounce everyone will not take care of the original image of Trieste.

       In our opinion, these old sandstones that were distroyed had to be protected. Click on the photo to get the photogallery of the disaster.

      On the left you can see where the sandstones are dropped : a unloading !






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