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Sons of Italy® Celebrates Brumidi at Capitol

Press Contact: Kylie Cafiero, (202) 547-2900 kcafiero@osia.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. - July 27, 2005 The Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA), the oldest and largest national organization for men and women of Italian heritage in the United States, was among the honored guests that celebrated the 200th birthday of artist Constantino Brumidi at a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda yesterday.

In conjunction with this anniversary celebration, OSIA donated funds for memorial brochures honoring the legacy of Constantino Brumidi.

At the ceremony were U.S. Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Michael B. Enzi (D-WY), Harry Reid (D-NV), Bill Frist (R-TN) and Ted Stevens (R-AK); and U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Michael Bilirakis (R-FL) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Former congresswoman and former ambassador to the Holy See, Linda Boggs also addressed the crowd that represented both Italian and Greek American supporters.

It is an honor to be here today and celebrate Brumidi's 200th birthday in the Capitol beneath his masterpiece, Apotheosis of George Washington," said OSIA National President Joseph Sciame. "OSIA and its members have worked hard, from letter writing campaigns to signing petitions, to help ensure that Brumidi earns a place in American history as one of the greatest artists of his time."

Constantino Brumidi (1805-1880), an immigrant from Italy, born to Greek and Italian parents, adorned the walls of the U.S. Capitol with frescos between 1855 and 1880. His work ranges from the Apotheosis of George Washington in the Rotunda, to the paintings that line what has now become known as the Brumidi Corridors.

OSIA has more than 600,000 members and supporters and a network of more than 700 chapters coast to coast. OSIA works at the community, national and international levels to promote the heritage and culture of an estimated 26 million Italian Americans, the nation's fifth largest ethnic group, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. See www.osia.org.