On the plaque the inscription reads:
'Kindly donated by Prof. Giuseppe Martignetti.
In memory of the Italian immigrants who came to Bedford.
For those that left their home; our respect.
For those who took a risk to find something better; our thanks.
For those that are no longer with us; we will remember.'
Bedford Borough Council describes the statue:visit link
'The Italian community, who have settled in Bedford over the years, are donating a statue to the town, in recognition of its welcoming spirit, which has enabled them to thrive. The art donation will stand near the Town Bridge, next to the Law Courts, and will be unveiled at, 1pm on Sunday 13th September 2009, by MP Patrick Hall and Deputy Mayor Nicky Attenborough. The artist himself, Professore Giuseppe Martignetti, will also be in attendance.
The statue represents the narrative of the immigrant and the forces of a changing world represented this through a series of larger-than-life size figures. It is made of reinforced concrete, modelled with wire mesh and lined with cement based compound, all covered and protected with an acrylic coating, to give it the appearance of a bronze finish. The Italian population have brought it all the way from Italy, at their own cost, and will unveil it to coincide with the very first Bedford Italian Festival.
Jan Steel, Marketing and Publicity Officer, at Bedford Borough Council said: “The statue is a physical reminder of sacrifice and struggle, ambition and achievement, a place to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. It is a very generous donation, the artist Professore Giuseppe Martignetti, has movingly described it as ‘poetic justice to a town that gave so much to his extended family’. Martignetti is a very talented man, whose older sisters came to Bedford as immigrants, before he, himself, followed. Many such Italians, who now live in the town and call it their home, feel they would not have been able to do so, if it were not for the good people of Bedford. It’s a truly magnificent way to express gratitude and we are delighted that we will have a physical reminder, day in, day out, of how well both English and Italian cultures live together, as friends.”
“There will no doubt be a buzz of interest on the day, as people enjoy the Italian music, Italian food, and soak up the general warmth and charisma that Italians exude. We should all be proud of what we have achieved together, to make Bedford the thriving, industrious, diverse, interesting, artistic and cultural place it is today.”
Ognuno è benvenuto - venire a celebrare questo evento!'
Due to vandalism the statue was stored for a while and then repositioned on the roundabout outside the Police Station. It now stands amongst the attractive, floral displays of this central roundabout which is also near the bus station.