Documenting Tributes to Deposed Dictators

Deposed dictators, especially those who caused much bloodshed and hardship for their people, are typically erased from the civic space. Their statues are removed, their names eliminated from buildings and road signs, and their brass plaques melted for scrap.

Because of this, it is particularly interesting to document the remnants that escaped destruction. Mussolini is no exception. I have seen a Mussolini quote still displayed, carved in stone in the north of Italy, despite the mass deportation of the local German speaking residents during the Fascist era. And here, in a tiny remote village of Southern Tuscany, I was surprised to see another quote attributed to him still in evidence.

Mussolini Quote-1

The quote itself is quite harmless, there is no heavy propaganda; it could be made into one of those inspirational posters seen in offices. But one wonders if it was whitewashed after the war, and has become visible again with time, or if the missing corner with Mussolini’s name was removed by intent, or by age. However, this fresco makes an interesting photo subject, and while I have never found a suitable use for such an image, I keep it in my library, awaiting the need.

C. David Tobie

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