Former Nigeria Ambassador to Spain, Bianca Ojukwu who was the wife of the late Biafra Leader Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu took to Facebook to commemorate the anniversary of the death of the Italian Princess and Millionaire heiress Of Fiat Automobiles, Clara Agnelli who passed on at the Hospital dell’Angelo di Mestre in Venice, Italy on 19 July 2016. Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu who earlier this year celebrated Bruce Mayrock who set himself on fire for the Biafra cause, by erecting a massive edifice, The Mayrock Memorial Building in his honor, maintains that those who made great sacrifices for Biafra must always be remembered and appreciated.
She posted :
BIAFRA DIVA : CLARA AGNELLI, A WOMAN OF TRUE GRIT. Remembering this icon on the anniversary of her death today. ( RIP 19 July 2016)
Does the name ‘Agnelli’ ring a familiar bell? Yes, you guessed right… it’s the same Agnelli of the Fiat Motors fame.
Clara Jeanne Agnelli was an Italian heiress and Princess, granddaughter of Giovanni Agnelli, the founder of FIAT AUTOMOBILES.
She remains one of Biafra’s unsung heroines. Arguably the most compassionate member of italy’s ruling industrial dynasty, she was so involved in the Biafran cause, organizing events to raise awareness concerning the plight of Biafrans.
At great risk to her safety and against all cautious counsel, In November 1968 in the heat of the Biafra War, Clara Agnellli left Italy and flew into the break-away state of Biafra to donate funds to the Biafra leader General C. Odumegwu Ojukwu and the embattled people of Biafra on behalf of the Agnelli Family.
This was a Woman of true grit, who was bold , compassionate and unconventional. She was born in Turin on 7 April 1920 to Edoardo Agnelli, and a duchess, Donna Virginia Bourbon del Monte.
In 1935, when Clara Agnelli was fifteen years old, her father died in an airplane crash. Her mother died in a car accident in 1945.
Carla Agnelli married Prince Tassilo zu Fürstenberg, an Austro Hungarian prince in 1938 when she was just eighteen years old, even though she was in love with someone else, an actor, called Giovanni Nuvoletti, whom she had met six years earlier. Nevertheless Prince Tassilo and Princess Clara Von Fürstenberg had three children, Prince Egon von Fürstenberg ( The famous fashion designer who originated ‘The Power Look’ and married the equally well known Fashion designer Diane Von Fürstenberg), Princess Ira von Fürstenberg( who became a famous actress) and Prince Sebastien von Fürstenberg( who founded the bank named Banca IFIS).
Some years into her marriage, She detached herself from Tassilo and went away with Nuvoletti. This caused an uproar in catholic Italy and the two were eventually arrested, their act termed as adultery, which was illegal in Italy at the time. She was forced to sign a legal document renouncing her relationship with Nuvoletti in return for an annuity.
Once divorce was legalized in Italy, Clara Agnelli divorced the prince and married her true love Giovanni Nuvoletti in 1974 in a civil ceremony and moved into the Villa Papadopoli. After the death of her first husband, Prince Tassilo Zu Fürstenberg she and Nuvoletti had a Catholic wedding ceremony at her villa’s chapel in 1989. Her sister, Susanna became Italy’s first female foreign minister in the mid 1990s.
She continued to commit her life to charitable causes and died 19 July 2016, aged 96.
Thank You, Clara for coming to our aid when it mattered most. We remember!
Bianca Odumegwu Ojukwu
19 July 2020.