This statue of Messina in Piazza Unione Europea facing the Straits of Messina is a memorial to the victims who died on December 28, 1908. The initial 7.5 magnitude earthquake killed at least 40,000 people and some estimates exceeded 100,000 casualties. Then even more perished from the 40 foot tsunami waves that followed. 90% of the buildings in Messina were destroyed. This memorial was gifted by the Rotary Club in 1998 on the 90th anniversary of the disaster. Its name is Statuta Messina Riconoscente della Concessione del Porto Franco.