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Livorno and the monument of the four Moors

The pirates who stole the show to Ferdinando I De Medici

Passing in the area of the old docks of Livorno is impossible not to be caught by one of the most powerful monuments of the city. The charming statue of mori meets in the harbour area and dates back to the Renaissance period. The monument originated from the desire to honor the Grand Duke Ferdinand I De Medici, represented by marble figure that rises above the four powerful Moors.

What is the history of the four Moors?

Ferdinando I De Medici founded the order of the Knights of Santo Stefano, League arose to defend the Christian faith and promote the fierce struggle against the Ottomans and the pirates who infested the Mediterranean Sea.

In 1595 the sculptor Giovanni Bandini was chosen to build a statue that depicted Ferdinand, proud of the successes achieved by the order of Saint Stephen. The noble marble of carrara was the material chosen to carry out the work which arrived in Livorno by sea, in 1601. The statue was placed just in 1617 and celebrated in the presence of Cosimo II, son of Ferdinand.

The four imposing bronze figures were placed at the base of the statue in 1621 under the gaze satisfied by Pietro Tacca that produced in Borgo Pinti, near Florence. The Moors chained soon stole the scene at the statue of Ferdinand much were, and are still, perfect plasticity of pose and dramatic expression.

The four Moors kidnap the gaze because of the realism with which were represented: the violent twisting and the pain etched on the faces represent the real condition of detention and are emblematic of the victory of the Doctors on the pirates.



At Livorno he is said to see all four noses of the Moors bring good luck. Go on a white tile, clearly visible in the pavement surrounding the monument, and from there, thanks to a game of perspectives, you can frame the four noses in one go!