Mayor in Battle to Halt Revival of Mussolini

By Goldberg, Kate | The Independent (London, England), July 25, 2002 | Go to article overview
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Mayor in Battle to Halt Revival of Mussolini


Goldberg, Kate, The Independent (London, England)


A MAYOR in northern Italy is struggling to stop his town from becoming a mecca for fascists from all over Europe amid signs that Italian right-wingers are rehabilitating the legacy of Benito Mussolini.

Preadappio, near Bologna, the birthplace and final resting place of il Duce has long been a place of pilgrimage for Mussolini apologists. But more than 100,000 people have visited in the past year with numbers peaking on the anniversaries of Mussolini's birth, death and rise to power.

Those who argue that il Duce has been denied the honour and respect he deserved have even set up a guard of honour at his mausoleum, complete with black capes.

Ivo Marcelli the town's left-wing mayor, is alarmed by the influx, but says that Italy's ruling right-wing coalition is turning a blind eye to the illegal glorification of Fascism.

Despite his pleas, sales of Fascist kitsch are booming, and the men in black capes still keep vigil outside Mussolini's tomb. He has lodged complaints with the police and the President, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, but his protests have fallen on deaf ears. Mr Marcelli said: "Exalting a figure such as Mussolini who created wars and was responsible for oppression is intolerable."

On Predappio's main street, a souvenir shop enjoys a burgeoning trade in Mussolini paraphernalia, despite a law banning the public glorification of Fascism.

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