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Celebrating The London Memorandum -- Trieste Returned To Italy

This propaganda poster, produced in December 1954 by the Centro di Documentazione della Presidenza del Consiglio, celebrates the return of Trieste to Italy.

The poster is a supplementary issue of the magazine Documenti di Vita Italiana, highlighting the significant geopolitical shift resulting from the accord that transferred control of the city and Zone A from Yugoslavia back to Italy.

The poster is dominated by vibrant colors and bold text, designed to capture the viewer's attention. The top section features the title in large red letters, "Trieste Ritorna all’Italia" (Trieste Returns to Italy), emphasizing the importance of this event.

  • The central image depicts a jubilant crowd gathered in Piazza Unità d’Italia in Trieste, with Italian flags prominently displayed, symbolizing national pride and celebration.
  • To the right, a photograph of the Italian cruiser "Duca degli Abruzzi" at Trieste signifies the military presence and support for the reintegration of Trieste into Italy.
  • Below this, a map illustrates the new demarcation line between Zone A, now under Italian control, and Zone B, remaining under Yugoslav administration.

The text provides context and justification for the return of Trieste:

  • "L'accordo permette alla Città e alla quasi totalità della Zona A di ritornare definitivamente a far parte della Madre Patria, mentre assicura una maggiore tutela agli italiani rimasti sotto l’Amministrazione jugoslava, sempre presenti nel cuore di tutti i confratelli della penisola." (The agreement allows the City and almost all of Zone A to definitively become part of the Motherland again, while ensuring greater protection for Italians remaining under Yugoslav administration, always present in the hearts of all the brothers of the peninsula.)

The lower section, highlighted in yellow, reassures the public about the provisional nature of the solution:

  • "Una soluzione provvisoria che non pregiudica alcun diritto e che migliora uno stato di fatto che tendeva sempre più a peggiorare, dato l’insediamento della Jugoslavia nella Zona B." (A provisional solution that does not prejudice any rights and improves a situation that was increasingly deteriorating due to the settlement of Yugoslavia in Zone B.)

The poster refers to the outcome of the London Memorandum, signed on October 5, 1954, which resolved the status of the Free Territory of Trieste. This agreement ended a decade of dispute between Italy and Yugoslavia over control of the region following World War II. The city of Trieste and the surrounding area, known as Zone A, were placed under Italian administration, while Zone B remained under Yugoslav control. This accord was a significant moment in the post-war settlement of borders in Europe, reflecting the broader context of Cold War tensions and the efforts to stabilize Europe through diplomatic means.

This poster serves as both a celebration of a national achievement and a propaganda tool to foster a sense of unity and national pride among Italians. By highlighting the successful return of Trieste, the poster aimed to bolster the government's image and reaffirm Italy's territorial integrity. The inclusion of images of popular celebration and military support underscores the importance of this event to the Italian public and the state.