Della Bitta: The Decision
After their research, they retreated back into the room to determine which of the models deserved to win. The three judges were not so wonderfully prepared for this task, as they were unclear of who created the fountain of the Moor, suggesting the Triton fountain was made as a result of Bernini’s work, when the Triton Fountain actually was created before Bernini’s work.
The judges, with their lack of knowledge and historical content, then spend hours examining and reexamining the clay molds created by the competitors. On February 4th 1874, they announced that Zappala was named number one, Della Bitta was number two, and Maiola was number three. They all agreed that Maoili’s statue had great merit, and but was "inspired by an idea which, being suitable not only for the desired location but also for other places, is not therefore comparable to or in harmony with the other fountains of Piazza Navona".
They said of Antonip Della Biita that statue was "such that one could say it is more in the fountain style of Bernini than the others". They found the work of Gregorio Zappala "an assured and almost delightful gaiety". However they rejected the central arrangement, and preferred the one by Della Bitta. Possible a great shame as the Zappala’s design features a Moorish women, creating the perfect compliment to the Fountain of the Moor!!