An earthquake which occurred on 28 December 1908 in Sicily and Calabria with a magnitude of 7.1 almost completely destroyed the cities of Messina and Reggio Calabria. 157,000 lives were lost due to the fact that most people were asleep and killed outright, or buried alive in their beds as their houses collapsed on top of them. As a result of the earthquake a 39 foot tsunami struck Messina causing more devastation and death.
This monument is in memory of a mother and child who were victims of the devastating earthquake. The mother who is grasping the bed sheet appears to have been suckling her child when disaster hit. The sculptured figures are surrounded by rubble. Note the stone on the bottom right which appears to resemble a skull.