21 march

Palazzo Bo and the innocent victims of organized crime


On 21 March, the University of Padua participates in the annual National Day of Remembrance and Commitment, which honours the innocent victims of organized crime. The University’s chapter of the Libera contro le mafie Association, named after Camorra victim Silvia Ruotolo, marks a long list of names of innocent victims of the mafia in the ancient courtyard of Palazzo Bo.

Since 2019, the Libera contro le mafie Milano chapter has brought this and other Libera contro le mafie initiatives to Padua. The 2023 initiative unveils an installation comprised of 1069 pieces of paper marking the names and the stories of innocent victims of the mafia. Each writing marks the random cruelty behind those who lost their lives due to organized crime. As the structural centre of Padua’s commitment to freedom that underlines the Universa Universis Patavina Libertas motto, the ancient courtyard of Palazzo Bo hosts the installation of names that include children, students, men, women, senior citizens, shopkeepers, mechanics, and many more.  

Students of the Silvia Ruotolo Libera chapter aim to show Padua as a place based on knowledge, a place of education and engagement, and a place of culture that takes a position with those who experience it by refusing to remain neutral. Displaying the names and stories of those senselessly snuffed by violence and oppression at the hands of the mafia, into the heart of our University, we proclaim this year’s slogan: It Is Possible.

It Is Possible to respect the environment, our waters and our lands, the animals that inhabit them and those that fly over them

It Is Possible to guarantee the right to study to those without diplomas

It Is Possible to guarantee the right to work with just pay and without exploitation

It Is Possible to protect buildings as common goods by avoiding abandonment and supporting urban renewal

It Is Possible to respect the rights of all others by denouncing any form of abuse and protesting when necessary

Above all, It Is Possible to achieve justice for victims who have been killed at the hands of organized crime

Milan is the primary host for the 28th edition of the National Day of Remembrance and Commitment honouring the innocent victims of organized crime.