Finding the Imagined Motherland in China: the Italian experience in Tianjin

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Provincial China, 2010, 1, 3 (1), pp. 80 - 110
Issue Date:
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Nearly one hundred years ago, from 25 to 27 September, 1910 a Conference of =Orientalist-Geographers` was held to commemorate the =apostle and geographer of China`, the Jesuit Father Matteo Ricci (1552-1610). This event took place three hundred years after his death, in his native town, Macerata (Anonymous, 1911, 1). On that occasion, two of the invited speakers, Mr E. A. Perogio and Mr L. Sborlino, chose as the focus of their speeches =Italians and Government in China` (Italiani e Governo in Cina) and =The Royal Italian Concession of Tien-Tsin`, respectively. By this stage, nearly fifty years had passed since the complex and problematic creation of the newly unified Italian State, and significantly, only nine years had elapsed after the official acquisition from the Qing Government of the territory destined to become the Italian concession (yizujie), that has been re-baptised today as Italianstyle scenic neighbourhood (yishi fengqingqu).
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