Croatia lays claim to Marco Polo
Published 25/04/2011 | 05:00
Italians have reacted angrily to an attempt by Croatia to claim the explorer Marco Polo as one of their own.
The outcry came after a museum dedicated to the Venetian explorer in the Chinese city of Yangzhou was opened not by Italian dignitaries but by a former president of Croatia, Stjepan Mesic.
The exact date and place of Marco Polo's birth are unknown, but most scholars believe he came from Venice.
It has been argued by some historians, however, that he was born on the island of Korcula, in what is today Croatia.
Italy's leading broadsheet newspaper, 'Corriere della Sera', described the Croatian claim to Marco Polo as "ridiculous" and a "provocation". (© Daily Telegraph, London)