Uncomfortable Architecture

Why Are So Many Fascist Monuments Still Standing in Italy?

That is the question that Ruth Ben-Ghiat wondered about on an article (in October 5, 2017), for The New Yorker. She asked why in Italy buildings and monuments of the Mussolini era still shown off

I am not so sure that we can easily say that Mussolini era building are exactly “shown off!” 

They looked rather “negletted” to me. We pretend they are not there and walk by looking the other side, like we do when we want to avoid an annoying acquaintance.

Does re-evaluating fascist architecture today automatically absolves the regime that produced it; or is it legitimate to evaluate it independently? 

Many great minds answered eloquently to the quest of the above scholar; and of course the idea of recovering fascist architecture came up, because, they claimed, recovering fascist architecture is not forgiveness of the past. 

Re-evaluating the cultural production of an era does not necessarily mean re-evaluating the culture of that era, of course. 

Also it should be noted that there still is some confusion between fascist architecture and architecture built under fascism. Some  are remarkable buildings.

In any case it would be absurd to imagine throwing down the EUR in Rome just to erase the memory of fascism. Remembering is always better than forgetting.

A Mundane Question

My question—however—is more mundane; if these buidings that are still up, why not care for them, instead of pretending they are not there? A good restoration, or in some cases even a coat of paint would do wonders for these building that are often much more spacious inside than the modern buildings and apartments.

Maybe the very intimidating Court of Milan (designed by Marcello Piacentini) should be painted in bright colors (…though I’m not suggesting pink… ), it will give a totally different impression, I think.

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I lived the most part of my life in Washington DC, now in Italy getting to know again my country. Plenty of surprises, for good and bad, and lots of nostalgia for DC.

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