When Vittorio Emanuele II died, on 1878, it was decided to erect a monument celebrating the Father of the Nation, and with him the entire period of Risorgimento. In 1880 he was banished the first international competition, won by the Frenchman Nénot, to whom however did not follow an enforcement phase of the project. In the next competition, launched in 1882, participation was reserved only for Italian designers.
It was also drawn up a detailed list of recommendations for the project, that prescribed "a complex to be erected on the high north of the Capitol, in line with the Via del Corso; a bronze equestrian statue of the King; an architectural background of at least thirty feet length and twenty-nine in height, left free in form but adapted to cover the buildings behind and lateral Church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli. "The competitors had one year to deliver the project. The proposals submitted were 98 and of the three selected for the final choice the royal commission voted unanimously Giuseppe Sacconi, a young architect from Marche.
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