The National Monument to the Immigrant, inaugurated by President Getúlio Vargas in 1954 in Caxias do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul. Its cornerstone was laid in 1950 by President Eurico Gaspar Dutra. The construction was initiated by a community commission, which held a competition to determine the best project dedicated to honoring the Italian immigrants of the state.
The peak of Italian immigration occurred between 1880 and 1930. Between 10.5% and 15% of the Brazilian population has Italian ancestry. The year 1950 held significant historical and cultural value for Caxias do Sul. The municipality celebrated 40 years since the arrival of the train and the elevation from a village to a city.
Additionally, it marked the 75th year of Italian immigration in Rio Grande do Sul. It was also the year when the National Grape Festival (Festa Nacional da Uva) was resumed after a 13-year hiatus due to the 1930 Revolution and World War II. To commemorate this occasion, the creation of a large-scale, distinctive work of art in a strategic and highly visible location was suggested, giving birth to the Monument to the Immigrant on BR-116.
In just over four years – from 1949 to 1954 – the local tribute to Italian immigrants gained statewide recognition and became a national symbol of appreciation, thanks to community support and a well-orchestrated publicity strategy. Donations provided a significant amount of funding, but were not enough to complete the project. The decisive support of the federal government, which granted the monument national status, came to the rescue with additional resources.
On February 28, 1950, President Eurico Gaspar Dutra laid the cornerstone. On February 28, 1954, then-President of Brazil, Getúlio Vargas, inaugurated the National Monument to the Immigrant in a touching and momentous ceremony.
Matheus is an entrepreneur at Araujo Media, where he serves as CEO and Creative Director. He shares analyses on his personal blog "matheusaraujo.me" and is currently pursuing a degree in Advertising and Propaganda. Moreover, he has a passion for history, particularly that of Brazil, which led him to become the founder and editor of the Brazilian History portal.