A few weeks ago I wrote a post inspired by an article published in 1918, in which the classicist Eugene S. McCartney described some of the votive objects and dedicatory activities that he had encountered at holy sites during the First World War. The sites he visited included the cathedral of St. Andre, Bordeaux (France) and the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine, Naples (Italy). At both he witnessed moving expressions of anxiety and thanksgiving associated with the Great War.
After reading this post Bruno de Martino went to visit the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine and has kindly shared a couple of the photographs that he took on his visit. Despite the area being bombed heavily during the Second World War, causing damage to parts of the church building, it appears that many of the votive offerings associated with the earlier conflict have survived and remain on display today. Alongside the photographs of soldiers and other items you can see the ‘representations in silver of … fully equipped soldiers and sailors in miniature’ which McCartney reported seeing (1918, p. 442), and which echo the soldier figurines of a much earlier period in Italian history.
Thanks very much to Bruno for taking the time to visit the church and for sending on these fascinating photographs!