Móric Benyovszky, born 280 years ago on 20 September, 1741, was commemorated in the 8th district in Józsefváros. One of the most famous Hungarian world travelers, sailors and soldiers, the first European ruler of the Indian Ocean archipelago, he also lived in Madagascar, Poland, France and the Americas, and visited Formosa (today's Taiwan), among others.

Benyovszky, who also visited several battlefields and Siberian captivity, landed in Madagascar in 1774 and made a significant contribution to exploring the interior of the island. In 1776 he was reportedly elected king. He later returned to Hungary and traveled again to Madagascar, where, after capturing a French fortress, he built the new “capital” at Angontsy, the fortress of Mauritania named after himself. The French sent a criminal expedition against him, and in the clash Benyovszky fell on 23 May, 1786.

The statue of the traveler, soldier, geographical descriptor and diplomat is in the 8th district (Photo: Márton Mónus / MTI)

“He was a patriot who, in addition to the Hungarians, is also claimed by the Poles and the Slovaks. He was not only an adventurer reaching four parts of the world, but also a soldier, a diplomat, and a geographical descriptor of whom we can be justifiably proud. The statue is important to the 8th district, to the capital and to the entire Hungarian nation, ”quoted János Árpád Pottipi, State Secretary for National Policy of the Prime Minister's Office, the chief patron of the Benyovszky Memorial Year, at the inauguration ceremony.

The Secretary of State also spoke about the fact that the life and personality of Count Benyovszky had an impact on the 19th century freedom struggles in Central Europe. Árpád Potápi emphasized that thanks to the commemorative year, the history of Benyovszky had once again become widely known, and his personality could be set as an example for today's young people.

“The year of remembrance addressed not only the Hungarians of the mainland, but also our compatriots living in the Carpathian Basin and the diaspora. We are now erecting the first public sculpture in Central Europe, ”the Secretary of State added.

Speaking on behalf of the Polish Ambassador Jerzy Snopek in Budapest, Colonel Tomas Trzcinski reminded that there are many heroes of the Hungarian and Polish nations who have played a prominent role in the history of both countries over the past thousand years, one of them is Móric Benyovszky.

G. György Németh, Chairman of the Benyovszky National Committee and the Benyovszky Society (Photo: Márton Mónus / MTI) 

Gábor Erőss, the deputy mayor of Józsefváros mentioned that Benyovszky's memory has been preserved by a street and a memorial house in the 8th district. “He was perhaps the first European to sail into the North Pacific, writing a proclamation of freedom with his Russian fellow prisoners, from   King Louis XV of France to George Washington, everyone recognized him. ”

According to Lieutenant Colonel Imre Csáky, the coat of arms historian and a member of the public body of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Benyovszky's name is the least used in the public consciousness, although he was involved in many successful acts of war and was also appointed governor of Madagascar. “He was a subject of four rulers, Maria Theresa and József II from hungary, XV. and XVI. Louis the French king and served in the Polish army as a soldier. ”

G. György Németh, Chairman of the Benyovszky National Committee, thanked everyone who contributed to the success of the Benyovszky Memorial Year. He mentioned that the Magyar National Bank issued a commemorative coin, the Magyar Posta commemorative stamp in his honor.

The bronze portrait of Count Móric Benyovszky, erected from grants and civic donations, was made by András Sándor Kocsis, the pedestal of the granite monument is the work of master craftsman Antal Holczer.

Source: MTI

Cover photo: The inauguration of the public sculpture of Móric Benyovszky was the closing event of the Benyovszky Memorial Year (Photo: Márton Mónus / MTI)