The Monument to Leopold of Lorraine has stood in the central square Piazza Dante in Grosseto since 1846. Leopold had earned his monument by draining the Maremma.
Leopold Monument Grosseto
Leopoldo II di Lorena (in English, Leopold of Lorraine) was an imperial prince of Austria and the Grand Duke of Tuscany. He was also the great initiator behind the reclamation of the Maremma.
After the first works had been carried out, the municipality of Grosseto had a monument erected in his honor. It was placed in the main square of the city, at the time still called Piazza delle Catene. It was sculpted by Luigi Magi from Asciano, who worked on it from 1836 to 1845. A year later it was placed in the square.
The monument came to be called Canapone in the vernacular, after the nickname of the Grand Duke himself.
The white marble sculpture group is placed on a tall pedestal. The central position is occupied by Leopold towers above the rest of the group. His gaze is fixed on a sad-looking woman, whose hand he holds. The woman personifies the Maremma. She holds a dying child (the future of the Maremma) in her arms. With his other hand, the Grand Duke protects a naked child, who is treading on a snake (personification of the malaria that used to plague the area). At the same moment, the snake is bitten by a griffin (symbol of the city of Grosseto itself).