Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Marco Polo a Croat? A Ridiculous Thesis

(Taken from the magazine “Storia in rete”, October 26, 2012)

“We have never even considered the idea of Marco Polo being a Croat”.

So says Luca Molà regarding the recent Croatian attempt to steal one of the most famous and beloved Italian figures in history. Molà is one of the curators of the exhibition “On the Silk Road: Ancient Paths Between East and West”, open to the public since October 26 and presented to the press today, an exhibition that obviously devotes much space to the Venetian merchant, who more than any other symbolizes the contacts between Italy and China at the turn of the Way Silk. The fact that Zagreb has opened a museum in Curzola in which they claim Polo was of Slavic origin, and the fact that a group of Croatian editors from the other side of the Adriatic have tried to impose their revisionist fantasies on Wikipedia in other languages, does not worry Molà:
“It's not like Columbus, where there there exists some room for speculation. We know everything about Polo's family: we know where their home was, we have birth certificates and other documents. There is no doubt that the Polo family were Venetian patricians.”
Dalmatia, where the island of Curzola is located, was still in the High Middle Ages inhabited by people of Latin origin and Latin culture, and the Slavic invasions did not have a demographic impact on the coastal cities and islands.