The first map of Italy’s fascist architectural legacy: “They don’t know what they see on the streets”



Six years ago, historian Julia Albanese asked herself a question. whatWhat remains in Italy of the fascist memorial legacy? “I was wondering how to advance in thinking about this historical period. Numerous Italians live with fascist architecture without controversyMany people don’t even know that what they see on their streets and cities is linked to fascism, he explains to this newspaper. Starting there, Albanese shared his idea of ​​mapping this heritage with the Instituto Nationale Bari, a center in Milan that keeps documents on the Italian resistance that fought against the fascist dictatorship. The suggestion was liked. And in 2018, work on the unprecedented project began.

The result of that today is a catalog of more than 1,400 monuments, monoliths, statues and street signsBeside bas-reliefs and paintings In public buildings in honor of fascism It is not removed After the fall of that regime (1922-1945) and swarm in the urban landscape From the entire Italian peninsula, from south to north. Albanese was able to construct this characteristic X-ray thanks to Team collaboration It is composed of dozens of researchers, most of them from the 63 institutes in the Barry Institute network. they Help identify and identify And sort the pieces.

Subsequently, all materials were converted to a map of Italy and published on a web page titled I luoghi from fascism (places of fascism) which is still being updated. This is because The investigation is not over yet, as recently explained to Reuters by Igor Pizzirusso, a researcher of public history and director of the site. “It’s still a partial statistic. We know it’s not perfect It’s a work in progress” Detailed, pizzirusso.

Civil war

However, the project has already revealed some lesser-known aspects. For example, due to an increase in the degree of severity Civil war in the north from Italy, Much of the Fascist architecture has been removed from this area from the country almost immediately after the liberation of Italy, while in the south There are still many ways to be honored Italian propertywho collaborated with the fascism of Benito Mussolini.

Similarly, researchers also found out in many cities And medium cities – more than large cities -, The presence of this architecture is more frequent. “This is the case of the statue of Michele Bianchi (one of the first secretaries of the Fascist Party) in the town of Belmonte Calabro, in Calabria, and the bas-relief of Mussolini in Foggia, in Puglia,” confirms Albanese, professor of contemporary history at the University of Padua.

An exception is Rome. In the Italian capital, in addition to a large number of monumental buildings erected by Mussolini Trying to show the strength and greatness of his regime, there are also many remnants of the dictatorship. Most famous of all: Obelisk 36 meters high and 300 tons located in front of Foro Italico in the Italian capital, where the inscription appears Mussolini doge.

after the outbreak

Another is the case of some Markers developed after the end of the outbreakespecially from the 1990s, such as goals honoring Giorgio Almirante, Leader of the neo-fascist party Italian social movement and died in 1988. Or even a monument in honor of Rodolfo Graziani, which is highly controversial Leader of colonial wars Conducted by Mussolini in Libya and Ethiopia, which was installed in 2012 in Avile, a town of about 1,500 inhabitants east of Rome.

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Although they also found out virtuous issuesResearch confirms. In Bolzano, next to Bas-relief by Mussolini on horseback The installation that invites you to walk away What does that system represent? Personally, I think it’s a smart way to deal with that legacy,” says Albanese, adding that his main mission is, in any case, another. Make the invisible visible” Confirms.

The fact is that Italy still has it today Difficult relationship with fascisma dark era still stirred wounds and grudges, from north to south, in A country uncomfortable with its past. And this year was even worse, given that the seizure of power by the most right-wing government in the republican history of Italy, the government of Giorgia Meloni, coincided with the centenary of the March on Rome, the coup d’état that Mussolini led in the leadership of this European country.

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