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Rivalta Scrivia’s crossroad between the Assumption, Napoleon and Desaix

The first stone to build the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to celebrate the French triumph at Austerlitz battle (2 December 1805) was installed on August 15, 1806: that day the French Emperor celebrated his birthday and his first name day. San Neopolo anniversary was transferred from June 2 to August 15 on the liturgical calendar to solve Napoleon’s name enigma. The trick suggested by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Caprara Montecuccoli (Bologna, 29 May 1733 – Paris, 21 June 1810) is rotated on the similar anthroponyms extended to the martyr offended by the Great persecution to Christians carried out by the Emperor Diocletian and to the leader who built traces from the Pyramids to the Kremlin. The day repeated on the calendar was melted at the recurrence by the ancient Roman civilization and Christianity: the assumption of Mary into heaven is the recurrence of precept regulated on the code of canon law.

The Cistercian Abbey of Santa Maria in Rivalta Scrivia, built on the verge of two centuries (XII and XIII) and requisitioned by the Napoleonic edict (1810), exhibits the Assumption Virgin wearing a red tunic protected by the light blue mantle and four angels. The wooden processional machine (height cm. 160, width cm. 50) was sculpted in the nineteenth century by the artist Bartolomeo Carrea (Gavi, 29 March 1764 – Genoa, 8 January 1839). The site combines sacredness with epic history. The flood restrained Desaix’s men: at dusk on Friday, June 13, 1800, only the carabinieri department had forded the river Scrivia opposite Rivalta. The crossing of French forces on the watercourse succeeded in Castellar Ponzano: the rescue of settlers led by the priest Don Giuseppe Guasone was valuable for the Napoleonic troops and for the French triumph at Marengo (14 June 1800).