Italy needs to get its Dux in a row about how to handle Mussolini

World

Italy needs to get its Dux in a row about how to handle Mussolini

Debate over the word 'Dux' etched into a cliff exposes deep divisions about the Fascist dictator's legacy

Nick Squires

The reappearance of a giant tribute to Benito Mussolini etched into a cliff above a village in Italy has sparked a political row over the enduring legacy of the wartime dictator.

The word Dux, Latin for Duce or leader, was etched into a sheer cliff overlooking Villa Santa Maria in the central region of Abruzzo during Mussolini’s fascist regime. For decades it was obscured by vegetation but the shrubs and bushes were recently cleared to open up routes for climbers, as the village sought to boost tourism.

Politicians from the centre-left have demanded the inscription be erased, saying that any mark of Mussolini’s time in power is shameful and inappropriate. But the village mayor hopes it will also attract tourism. “I have no intention of covering it up,” said Giuseppe Finamore. “It’s always been there, and if it serves to attract tourists to the village, all well and good.”..

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