Even though this island “belongs to wildlife” — its “only population
are sheep and goats”— Mr. Stephen Kurt Vogelsang (of Eagle Rock, CA) has
established a Provisional Revolutionary Government dedicated to the
conservation of their delicate habitat. This ruminant-inhabited micro-state
is in the Tyrrhenian Sea and is in the southern region of the Tuscan Archipelago (also a
National Park, “a natural preserve with visitation by special permit / authority
only”), between Corsica and Porto S. Stefano on the mainland.
It is laying between Elba, 22 miles distant, and the Argentario promontory.
It is only 10 square km wide, composed of gray granite. All sailing,
swimming and fishing are prohibited within a range of 500 meters off the
coast. This island is spelled locally as Montecristo. “For most
of its history (after being founded by the Bishop of Palermo, Sicily) the
island belonged to the King of Italy as a private hunting reserve.” Its
new status as a self-proclaimed “constitutional oligarchy” was
instituted in the Spring of 2005 “by the exiled leaders of the Montecristo
Federal Movement, currently living in Italy, Spain and the United States.”
These men are, respectively, Secretary of Defense Count Walter Giuliani (see
Padania listing), Foreign Secretary Count Jorge Fernández Vidal (see my
Westarctica), and General Secretary Count Vogelsang. These
“Three Counts”, collectively known as the Great Council of the Republic,
constitute the Provisional Government's ruling body. The triumvirate
“officially promotes the cause of an autonomous Republic with a
permanently exiled government and citizenry to prevent spoilage of the
environmentally protected island state”.
Their coin can be
purchased directly from
Mr. Vogelsang (email@example.com),
is a bi-metallic (silver/enamelled copper-nickel) 10 Soldi piece dated MMV.
It has a total mintage of 100 pieces with 1.75 inch diameter. Obverse of the
coin features pirate/privateer Dragut in colorized orange and blue while the
reverse of the coin tributes His Holiness, John Paul II. A large portion of the net proceeds from the sales of the gorgeous coin will
be donated to various charities. Monte Cristo's official Web-site is: http://montecristorepublic.com/index.html.