Rome — More than 1,400 monuments, street signs and plaques honoring fascism have been put online in the first nationwide attempt to document the symbols of Benito Mussolini‘s regime that still dot the urban landscape of Italy.
While Germany systematically scrubbed clean any sign of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime after World War II, Italians took a much less rigorous approach to removing traces of their Mussolini’s 21-year dictatorship.
The “places of fascism” website was unveiled on Tuesday by the Istituto Nazionale Parri, a Milan-based historical research institute, following four years of research.
It lists famous landmarks, such as the obelisk in Rome marked in giant lettering with “Mussolini Dux” (Mussolini leader), as well as more obscure memorials up and down the country.
“It is a partial census … We know very well that it’s not complete, it’s very much a work in progress,” Igor Pizzirusso, a public history researcher and webmaster of the site, told Reuters.
The website will be expanded with submissions from the public, subject to verification by experts, Pizzirusso said, adding that about a dozen suggestions came in Tuesday after the website was publicized in La Repubblica newspaper.
Italy has a complicated relationship with its fascist past, now under greater scrutiny as Giorgia Meloni, a hard-right politician with a teenage past as a Mussolini fan, was sworn in as prime minister last month.
Meloni, who won September’ election, insists she and her Brothers of Italy party have embraced mainstream conservatism, declaring in August that “the Italian right has handed fascism over to history for decades now.”
Nevertheless, the party and its right-wing allies in October went on to elect as speaker of the Senate Ignazio La Russa, a collector of Mussolini memorabilia who once said that the fascist one-armed salute was more hygienic than handshakes.
RELATED: Tourists apprehended after taking gondola for Venice joyride
Another week, another spate of terrible behavior from tourists in Italy.
Hot on the heels of a woman posing naked on the steps of the cathedral in Amalfi, two tourists to Venice have been apprehended for allegedly stealing a gondola.
The pair, said to be French nationals, are accused of stealing the gondola from the Accademia station, beside the famous bridge of the same name, to go for a spin along the Grand Canal around 1.30 a.m. on Thursday.
The gondola’s owner, Giorgio Bognolo, said the contents of the boat — a cover, cushions, decorations and other items worth several hundred dollars — were thrown into the canal, before it was paddled away like a canoe.
He said the joyriders were apprehended when three locals in a passing boat noticed the gondola zigzagging back and forth across the canal, and realized something was amiss.
By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter