By Arnold J. Toynbee
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51 Two CELEBRATION AND CONSTRUCTION, 1932–1934 THE DECENNALE The year 1932 marked an important stage of development for fascist Rome. The tenth anniversary of the March on Rome, the Decennale, offered the regime the opportunity to celebrate its achievements and especially to introduce new spaces and events in Rome. An English-language pamphlet of the state-sponsored tourist agency boasted that the regime had “completely transformed Italy” in its first decade. ”3 Fascist “spectacle” found new forms of expression that shaped the subsequent development of the city and its use as the showpiece of the regime.
The Circus Maximus provided a premier site for fascist exhibitions in the 1930s. Four major ones took place between 1937 and 1939: (1) the Exhibit of Summer Camps, June to September 1937; (2) the Exhibit of National Textiles, November 1937 to March 1938; (3) the Exhibit of the Leisure Time Organization, the Dopolavoro, May to August 1938; and (4) the Exhibit of Autarchy of Italian Minerals, November 1938 to February 1939. Each exhibit had its own temporary buildings and pavilions. The central location made the site easy to find for foreign tourists as well as native Romans.
The fascio was a bundle of rods with a protruding ax blade. 31 After the war, the Ponte Littorio became the Ponte Matteotti, dedicated to the antifascist deputy murdered in 1924. 4 Mussolini opens the first part of the Via del Mare, Theater of Marcellus in the background, 1930 13 14 MUSSOLINI’S ROME of his abduction as he walked to Parliament on the morning of June 10. Thus a fascist name became overtly antifascist, and the place assumed the resonance of an antifascist shrine, illustrating the postwar effort to rename monuments in an attempt to rewrite history.
Civiltà al paragone by Arnold J. Toynbee