After 2 years i discover that the racist statue called The Four Moors, symbol of Livorno ,is still there.

Laura Bernardeschi
5 min readJan 4, 2022

December 2021

Finally in December 2021 I decided to go back to Italy to meet my family after two years due to the pandemic situation . I hoped to find a better place with kinder local people but all my hopes faded immediately after my arrival .

Livorno is a city on the mediterranean sea , next to the most famous touristic city called Pisa. It is a small city that bases its economy on a few old decadent industries and the harbour.

This happens because the city has been in the hands of the left side of the Italian party for ages and the party , with different names through the decades, does not seem interested in realising all the promises used to win every election .

I could feel that feeling of Italian mafia secrets when i walked along the streets of the city after two years , the first time from the start of covid pandemic .

I was born there in the far 1968 and spent 42 years of my life living and working as a ‘livornese’ . I decided to leave Livorno in 2011 and after ten years spent among London , Bristol and now Newcastle upon tyne , i expected to see a bit of progress due to the technology , education, new buildings and new places of work .

Instead everything is like thirty years ago with people doing the same type of work for the whole life and adapting themselves to get paid half of the pay to maintain the same shitty job for months .

It is not easy to find a job in Livorno because you must know someone ,a politician or a priest especially if the job is connected to the public sector .

Rarely new investors arrive to Livorno because the citizens are known for the way to cheat their employers declaring to be sick when they are perfectly well at home or on a beach .

This category of people are called “ spalle tonde ‘ and are going around proudly in the city cheating the working system.

The schools are very old and their teachers are dinosaurs .

The hospital is really decadent and many people decide to see a doctor in the nearby Pisa or Florence.

It was built by Mussolini , the dictator, and it should be closed in favour of a new one .But all the promises to win the elections by the several parties are never maintained in Italy so now in 2022 people found themselves in rooms of an hospital built 100 years ago and rarely renovated !

The situation for the immigrants in Livorno is not one of the best .

These people , most from Senegal , have very simple jobs .Some of them have a regular contract of work but most of them have an invisible job based on selling faked big brand bags , bells and shoes on the streets , running away as soon as the police called ‘vigili urbani’ arrived .

A. sort of Tom and Jerry story that is going on since the first arrivals in the 1990s .

But the worst is a horrible statue called I quattro mori considered the symbol fo the city located in Piazza Micheli.

It was completed in 1626 to commemorate the victories of Ferdinand I of Tuscany over the Ottomans. Created by Pietro Tacca , the monument takes its name from the four bronze statues of “Moorish” slaves that are found at the base of an earlier work consisting of the statue of Ferdinando I and its monumental pedestal.

Although the four chained prisoners are meant to represent the victories of Ferdinando I over the Ottomans, there may also be a different interpretation due to the presence of the statue with the black African characteristics because Ferdinando II , grandson of Ferdinando I, may have been involved in slave trade activities in West Africa in the 1660s, in cooperation with the Genoans.

Everything so different from Bristol in England where i lived from 2019 to 2021 where the statue of the racist Colston was thrown into the river Avon and all the buildings and schools named Colston changed their names in 2020 because people are very ashamed of this piece of history.

Before Colston was considered a benefactor of Bristol but everything changed when people understood he based his fortune on the slave trade who killed million of poor innocents kidnapped by their villages in Africa and deported horribly to the new Americas to work as slaves in the plantations of rich white men for the rest of their life .

The shame of Livorno .

I Livornesi are very selfish , arrogant , rude and also uneducated .

I am sure that 80 % of the citizens has forgotten the statue just outside the busy touristic harbour where thousand of people arrive from everywhere in the world to visit the Italian peninsula .

If someone tries to go to the council asking to remove the statue of the four moors is considered a lunatic !

Even worser … the statue is clearly racist but nobody has thrown eggs , or some paint on top of the white man !


I am happy i am no more living in my hometown.

I will avoid to say i come coming from Livorno and will reduce my visit there .

But the worldwide movement called black lives matter should go a couple of days to Livorno asking to remove the statue and leave that place for a sculpture more connected with the actual history of our planet .

Thanks for reading




Laura Bernardeschi

Actress, life model , blogger and writer , originally from italy but living in Uk since 2011 .She lives for art