Scanderbeg (1937)


Péter Nemes
Amerigo Tot Research


In the spring of 1937, Zog I (1895-1961), King of Albany, announced a competition for sculptors to create the equestrian statue of George Kastrioti (1403-1468), better known as Skanderbeg. The statue that would also serve as a mausoleum was planned to be erected at the 450th anniversary of the death of the Albanian national hero. 147 plans were submitted and the design drawn created by Amerigo Tot (1909-1984), a sculptor of Hungarian origin living in Rome, proved to be the best. At the New Year’s Eve of 1937, Zog I received the sculptor in person at his palace in order to discuss the details of the project.

The scale model of the statue was made at the Hungarian Academy in Rome, Italy. The Italian general, the 1st Duke of Addis Abeba Pietro Badoglio (1871-1956) posed for the portrait of Skanderbeg. In the photographs and drawings published in newspapers at the time, it is noticeable that the artist was strict about the details. He depicted the helmet of Skanderbeg with great precision. The helmet was intended to be brought back from Vienna for the coronation of King Zog I. Tot designed a 335-square-yard marble relief to be placed on the gigantic pedestal of the 20-feet-high statue, it would have included John Hunyadi (1404-1456), the Hungarian ally of Skanderbeg, too. Given its sheer size, the statue was planned to be made in Budapest and taken to Tirana in pieces later on.

In April 1939, the Italian troops invaded Albany, and Mussolini declared the country the protectorate of the Kingdom of Italy. King Zog I and his family fled into exile. The statue was never completed. The plaster model disappeared without a trace. Its whereabouts is still unknown.




without any detail

  • Small sculptures

This sculpture was represented in Tirana, Albania. Other two works submitted to this competition is guarded by the National Gallery of Arts of Tirana.