Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS) Futures, 5th Biennial Conference 2020

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


"Censorship or Sacralisation? Co-existing with the disruptive legacy of fascist heritage in Italy"

Recently huge letters spelling the word DUX and the date 1940 in Roman characters re-emerged from the rocks above the town of Villa Santa Maria, in Abruzzo in the south of Italy, This led to a series of further debates about the symbols of a past which Italy has struggled to come to terms with, and as to whether fascist symbols should be preserved, or not.
In contrast to countries like Spain, which implemented (after many years) a more holistic approach in terms of dealing with the traces of its wounded past (see the case of the Valley of the Fallen), Italy’s relationship with fascist buildings, objects and artefacts has often depended on local factors, politics and timing. The heritage left by the fascist era still appears in a number of monuments and buildings in different ways and forms. Some of these, in particular, have been identified by neo-fascist organisations and activists as symbols linked to far-right narratives which is increasingly a part of public space and ongoing debates.
Starting from the case of the DUX graffiti, my contribution carried out a critical reflection on the role played by the disruptive legacy of fascist heritage within the Italian socio-political and cultural context. The discussion established connections and comparisons with other European countries in order to discuss this legacy and the politics of memory and examine how other countries have confronted their own difficult pasts.
Period12 Aug 20208 Sept 2020
Event typeConference
LocationLondon, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Critical Heritage
  • Heritage Studies
  • Conflicting Heritage
  • Fascism
  • Memory studies
  • history
  • History of Art
  • Public Heritage