ROMA ARCHEOLOGIA e VIA DELL`IMPERO (1943|2013): RIVIVE L’ URBE ANTICA “ANCHE GRAZIE AL DUCE.” Gli espropri gia` realizzati da Mussolini costerebbero centinaia di miliardi. Corriere Della Sera (29|07|1999), p. 27.
“You are conferring praise on me in advance; my work is only just beginning, and I would prefer that Rome should accept me when my labors are done.”
Benito Mussolini, 21 April 1924, in:
‘Ancient Honor Is Conferred on Him on the City’s 2,677th Anniversary. HE PREDICTS NEW GLORIES Fascist Premier Envisions a New Imperial Rome Leading the Rest of the World.’ THE NEW YORK TIMES, April 22rd, 1924. p. 4. & ‘Civis Romanus Sum.’ New Honour For Signor Mussolini. THE TIMES (LONDON), April 22, 1924; p. 12.
“The Via dei Fori Imperiali represents the successful attempt of Fascism to leave its imprint on cities.”
Alessandra Mussolini, in:
John Phillips, “Foreign words fall victim to Fascist ruling.”
The Times (London), March 16th, 1994.
“La notizia e` importante: via dei Fori Imperiali, come la conosciamo oggi, diventera` presto un ricordo. Quanto agli scavi archeologici, fiore all’ occhiello della Roma pre Giubelio, non sarebbero stati realizzabili senza gli sventramenti operati in epoca fascista.A dirlo e` Adriano La Regina, autorevole soprintendente archeologico di Roma.”
In: RIVIVE L’ URBE ANTICA “ANCHE GRAZIE AL DUCE.” Gli espropri gia` realizzati da Mussolini costerebbero centinaia di miliardi. Corriere Della Sera (29|07|1999), p. 27.
In: Corriere Della Sera (29|07|1999), p. 27
Reply to Prof. La Regina’s Comments in the Corriere Della Sera (29|07|1999), by a scholar specializing in the history of archaeology in Rome (June 2000).
“….Now to the 1930s excavations, La Regina does not confront the real issues. Italian life of all genres, not least academic is highly politicized, I do know him, but do not know his politics. There are still, however, plenty of apologists for the Fascists around, and they treat the issues of seventy years ago not as ancient history, but as vitally relevant to the present. That’s the first point. Second, we must not, of course, expect of excavations during the past the same standards as we expect today. But the situation here is entirely different. Those excavations were not scientifically motivated, but politically! It was all yet another part of the Fascists’ breast-beating and rhodomontade and window-dressing. In fact the excavations were carried out disgracefully, with everything to political deadlines and no concern for the scientific value of what was found but only a manic haste to ‘clear’ everything and create a vast road for military parades. That said, of course, the other side of the coin is that yes, a lot of preliminary work has been done for us. But what was the cost? How much was thrown away? One answer is, one of the most important hills of Rome, the Velia! And hardly anything was published. As well, the levels from the present down to the classical were all swept aside, with concern only to preserve the last. Do archaeologists today behave in such a manic way, concerned with only one of the many levels revealed by the archaeology of a site as rich as Rome? And then, finally, when all had been ‘cleared’, what was left? Gaping holes, which no one had any idea what to do with, so they were filled with that ghastly fascist architecture whose philistinism so brutally represents the mentality of its ideology. I make no bones of course about my own reaction to fascism. In short, it was one of the most disastrous periods in Italian history, bereft of ideas except of the lowest kind (similar to Nazism) and which brought untold suffering on the Italian people. The archaeology cannot be separated from all this: it is part of it, characteristic of it: empty, boastful, destructive. So you see, no one can speak of the archaeology in isolation, nor can one escape judgments upon it. Any attempt to do so is simply an even more blatant political statement.”
A scholar specializing in the history of archaeology in Rome, personal communication e-mail (June 2000).
Foto: Bruno Dell’Erba, Mar 24, 2014.