For the first time in the Principality of Seborga’s history, this little nation in Liguria is experiencing a coup d’état straight from the Middle Ages as two men – one Italian and one from France – vie for the Princely throne.
Frenchman Nicolas Mutte has controversially pronounced himself as the new Prince of the Principality of Seborga despite that title belonging to Lombardy-born Marcello Menegatto. In a video released in the last few days, Mutte asserts his proclamation, saying, “Let’s begin a new story, a new chapter.”
Mutte’s video goes on to discuss his ‘large and grandiose’ vision for the future of the Principality, saying, “Seborga can become a prosperous Principality; rich, hard-working, welcoming and hospitable towards visitors and tourists.”
The official Prince of Seborga is Italian Marcello Menegatto, who was elected by the 300-strong population of Seborga in 2010 following the death of the Principality's first Prince, Giorgio Carbone. The Principality is unrecognised by Italy as an independent state, but has ‘existed’ since Carbone successfully convinced his countrymen to elect him as Head of State in the early 1960s.
Carbone’s argument for Seborga’s right to be an independent nation is based on the claim that when the territory was sold in 1729 to the Savoy dynasty, the new owners failed to register the sale, placing Seborga in a ‘legal twilight zone’.
Menegatto has reportedly rebuffed Mutte’s claims to the Seborgian throne, saying, “I am the elected Prince, the people have elected me. This is just a media propaganda.”
Mutte is believed to be travelling at the moment so Seborga will be waiting with bated breath for him to return and to see what will happen next for their 14km² state.