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Medusa from the Koper sailing ship Corriere d’Egitto


 

MEDUSA, THE FIGUREHEAD THAT MET THE PIRATES


The ship's figurehead is exhibited on the first floor of the museum.
The figurehead with the mythical image of Medusa adorned the bow of the sailing ship "Corriere d'Egitto", owned by the famous captains from Koper, brothers Nazario and Domenico Zetta. Their three ships "Corriere d'Egitto, "Istria" and "Zorniza", were the links connecting Trieste with Egypt and the Middle East in the first half of the 19th century.
In an article published in 1911 in the local newspaper Pagine Istriane, Francesco Majer describes the adventures of the sailing ship Corriere d'Egitto commanded by Nazario Zetto.
In 1928, on a voyage to Egypt, the ship was attacked by "Greek pirates" not far from the Libyan coast. The pirates had perhaps been informed that there were diamonds on board destined for the ottoman governor of Egipt and Sudan Mehmet Aly.
The pirates ransacked the ship and crew, but the well-hidden precious cargo was not found. The ship made it to Alexandria, where the Egyptian King threatened the robbed naked and barefoot members of the crew with severe punishment on the account  of their indecent arrival, but the famous captain proudly handed the diamonds to the ungrateful king and was able to return with his ship and crew to Trieste.
 

 

Medusa from the Koper sailing ship Corriere d’Egitto

 

The “Corriere d’Egitto” was owned by Captain Nazario Zetto, 19th century.

 

Inv. No.: U. k. 1 

 

Unknown author

 

Wood

 

Dimensions:90 x 60 x 40 cm