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A Controversial Heritage. Architecture and Rhetoric in Fascist Italy

Håkan Hökerberg

Twentieth century European history was dramatic in many ways, witnessing the rise and fall of dictatorships in several states throughout the course of the century. Should monuments and buildings, once erected as manifestations of the ideological program of these regimes and representing a past that many people most of all would like to forget, be regarded as a part of national cultural heritage? In the former Communist Eastern Europe, as well as in post-war Germany, a substantial part of the physical remains of a contested regime has been demolished. In Italy, and especially in Rome, the situation is quite different; here we find many buildings with Fascist symbols and messages still intact. The project will focus on the consequences of different approaches to this controversial heritage. The aim of the project is to integrate the phenomenon with heritage discourse, to emphasise its significance and relation to themes such as historical continuity and complexity in order to understand its implications for the gestation of present-day society.
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