Centro Risorse Territoriale di Pesaro e Urbino

The Table of Count Ciano

Report Broken Link Change Language
Language Switch Cloud Preload
Current Language: English
You can select another language:
‹« ItalianItalian »›
or Close this window.

On 30 Aug 1940, Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop presided over the Second Vienna Arbitration at Belvedere Palace in Vienna, Austria. Once again, Germany and Italy ruled in favor of Hungary, awarding it 43,104 square kilometers of territory (Northern Transylvania, Maramures, and part of Crisana). Romania was given 14 days to evacuate the territory. The result was the arbitration was known as the Second Vienna Award.

Source: William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

La vera storia del mobile di Ciano/The true story of the table of Ciano (Giovanni Ansaldo “L’Illustrazione italiana”, 12.9.1947. “Diari” 1932 1943, Il Mulino, 2000)

What’s in a table with an inlaid marble top?
It all happened in the year nineteen forty
When the Hungary of Admiral Horthy
Got a much coveted territorial sop
After an arbitration at Castle Belvedere
The Viennese mansion of Eugene of Savoy
Handled by vile Joachim von Ribbentrop
And Galeazzo Ciano pilot and playboy
Whose highborn girlfriends called “the Engineer”
On leaving the palace the two ministers stood
Briefly in front of a small table of giltwood
Count Ciano made a passing compliment
to that fine artistic titbit
An artifact of great refinement
And then forgot all about it
But on boarding his homebound evening train
He was startled to see the table again
Neatly packed up in a crate as if somehow
A party boss could freely give or take
All the State properties in his domain
Baldur von Schirach head of the Vienna Gau
Had given it to him as a keepsake

Compared with their counterparts of Nazi Germany
The prim museum curators of Fascist Italy
For whom it was unthinkable to part
Even from a minor work of art
Ciano informed his ‘codazzo’ or retinue
were unparalleled paragons of virtue

(Lamberto Bozzi, 30.4.2012)

The materials published on this site can be used freely. In case of publication, websites included, please request the authorization of the Teachers Resources Center.