16 February 2006

A University in Seborga? Not really...

A University in the Ancient Principality di Seborga? Not really, it’s just a rented wine cellar. Various websites in English and also in other foreign languages publicize in fact the presence of a "University" in Seborga: a place where there is not even a high school!
The Italian Police have received a report on this matter and want to find out more about it.
One alarming aspect of this case is one of the places of this imaginary place of learning: Via Miranda 3, Seborga. At this address there is a wine cellar belonging to Osvaldo Romagna, a city council member, who has categorically excluded any presence of a faculty or office whatsoever.
"It’s a very small basement – declares the owner - which I let some time ago to two foreigners, French and – he seemed to me – Uruguayan. They had come to Seborga with the idea of promoting our tourism overseas. It is a fact that, after not having paid the rent for several months, they disappeared from the scene. I don’t know anything about this matter”.
However, the question remains why this address in Seborga appears on the internet as the location of several international organizations that provide courses and degrees on line.
One example is the alleged “Pebble Hills University – SBC Antico Principato di Seborga” that according to its web site is located or has its contact location at the “SBC Building, Via Miranda 3, Suite 303 Seborga.
According to other websites, there are at least thirteen so called “Universities” in Seborga, all accommodated in the same address! There is also a telephone and fax number with an answering machine. According to these websites there are also a bank and a real estate agency in Seborga, all at the same address.
It’s not difficult to find more disturbing examples. If you type in to the Google search engine the words "University" and "Seborga", you may find many other similar sites. On one website, always in English, there are seminars of alternative medicine starting from the 10 of April 2006.
If you follow the indications for registration you can find the related fees to these courses.
If you continue to search you will find that in Seborga there are also the offices of the West Coast University (WCU) “… to serve the students from European and other countries…”
In Piazza dei Martiri, according to others websites, you can find the Hardwood University Seborga or the Keller International University of Seborga that offer courses in design, music and information technology. Now that the Italian Police have been informed of this matter with a detailed report that would indicate acts of fraud via internet, they may soon start an investigation. (SeborgaPress & La Stampa)