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The New Courtyard

Once purchasing other buildings south of the historic Palazzo del Bo, the area was then organised around a courtyard called the cortile Littorio, known today as the New Courtyard, the space is characterized by a quadrangular portico with imposing shapes.

Designed by the Veronese architect Ettore Fagiuoli, the New Courtyard came to be at the request of Rector Carlo Anti, who imagined this space as a place to celebrate the fighting spirit of its university students.

Above the eastern wall of the arched portico, we find a relief by Attilio Selva, which represents the spirit of the Paduan goliardery. Four dates mark the column placed at the centre; separately commemorating the Risorgimento (1848), World War I (1918), the anti-fascist movement (1922) and the Second Italo-Ethiopian War (1939).  A fifth space, placed to mark the date of victory for World War II remains symbolically blank to this day.

Likewise unmarked is the Minerva Vittoriosa by Paolo Boldrin, created in 1942 and originally positioned in the nearby Hall of Heroes. The removal of the commemorative plaque of the students who fell for the fascist cause and the new positioning on the back wall dampens any form of victorious tones.

On the southern side, the 16th-century Porta della Vacca was originally located in the Ancient Courtyard on via delle Beccherie (today via Cesare Battisti).

In 1992, as the University continued to demonstrate its commitment as a patron of art, the monument “Spiral for Gailieo” by Giò Pomodoro was added as it depicts a logarithmic spiral stele in bronze and granite to mark the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s arrival in Padua.

The work Resistenza e Liberazione (Resistance and Liberation) by Jannis Kounellis, unveiled in 1995, as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Liberation from Nazi-Fascism, is dedicated to Concetto Marchesi, Egidio Meneghetti and Ezio Franceschini, who acted heroically on behalf of the University for Liberation from the Nazi-fascist regime.