Thursday, July 3, 2014

Mussolini's Balcony

I went in search of Mussolini's balcony, the one where he gave his epic speeches to thousands of rabid supporters in Piazza Venezia.  The balcony is there, in the center of the facade of Palazzo Venezia, where Mussolini had his office throughout the 1930s.  But it is impossible to visit from the inside, even though in 2011 it was, apparently, reopened.  But a guard on Sunday told me that because of staffing cuts there are only a few rooms open -- just the exhibition spaces and that there is no way to get to the balcony.

So, I went to see the collections. An opening panel told the history of the building.  The only thing that referred to the fascist use of the building was this :  "From 1929 to 1943 the Palace became the Fascist head-quarters and after the Second World War the museum opened again to the public."

The role of Mussolini doesn't even get a full sentence, but just one part of a long sentence!  I asked how I could see the balcony and the ticket-taker shook her head -- there is nothing to see and it is not accessible.

The temporary exhibition on display was about the war in Syria and how it is destroying so much of that country's ancient heritage.

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