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Tribute to a Neapolitan surgeon, a precursor of Henry Dunant

01-10-1997 News Release 97/38

The Bari branch of the Italian Red Cross has presented the ICRC with a bronze bust of the surgeon Ferdinando Palasciano, who as early as 1847 put forward the proposal that the war-wounded be given neutral status, one of the basic tenets of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Palasciano, who was born in Capua, near Naples, in 1815 and died in 1891, took part in the battle of Messina as a doctor with the rank of captain in the Bourbon army and refused to obey when ordered by his superiors not to give aid to wounded enemy soldiers.

The bust was unveiled at ICRC headquarters on 26 September in the presence of ICRC President Cornelio Sommaruga and Mr Camillo de Luca, President of the Bari branch of the Italian Red Cross.