A forgotten tragedy of World War II is to be marked in a special way in Glasgow. On the morning of 2nd July 1940, off the coast of lreland, the transatlantic liner Arandora Star was torpedoed and sank. Aboard were 700 civilians - including 446 Italians living in the UK who had been rounded up from their homes, shops and cafes as 'enemy aliens' after Italy's entry into the war. Plans for an Italian Cloister Garden to commemorate the victims of the tragedy were revealed yesterday by First Minister Alex Salmond and Archbishop Mario Conti. They will be built next to St Andrew's Cathedral in Clyde Street. The last remaining survivor of the ship, Mr Rando Bertoia, aged 88, was present at the launch as will relatives of those who died. Archbishop Conti said: "The chance to build a cloister garden like this one comes but once in a lifetime. It falls to our generation to make this wonderful monument a reality. The appeal is open to anyone of any race or nationality. This will be a garden for everyone. We plan a 'wall of name' to remember those who have died and those who help build the cloister. "The monument itself will be a fitting symbol of the great bonds of friendship between Scotland and Italy. Besides offering much needed facilities and gathering space for the Cathedral, the Cloister Garden will quickly become a much-loved oasis of tranquility amid the city bustle; a place to come alone or with friends, to reflect, to sit awhile and to remember." For more information and pictures of the garden, see: www.italiancloister.org.uk Source: Archdiocese of Glasgow
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