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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 January, 2005, 13:08 GMT
Bid to save Garibaldi's memorial
Giuseppe Garibaldi
A Bedford man aims to preserve the memory of Giuseppe Garibaldi
Plans are under way in Bedford to create a bust in memory of the visit to the town of the famous Italian general Giuseppe Garibaldi.

The soldier known as the "Father of Italy" planted a redwood tree during a visit in 1864, but only a stump remains after it was struck by lightning.

Garibaldi waged a life-long war against the pope and was honoured in the home town of famous protestant John Bunyan.

Councillor David Fowler has begun a campaign to preserve the memorial.

He said that the tree and its remains were an important part of Bedford's heritage and a link to historic world events.

Bust of Garibaldi

Garibaldi was a major influence on the founding of Italy as a unified country in the 19th century.

Bedford is also home to a large Italian community that settled there during and after the Second World War.

He said: "We would like to carve the stump into the shape of a bust of Garibaldi mounted on the site of the tree under cover.

"Alternatively we would like the bust to be in a museum but whatever the outcome we are starting to raise funds."

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