, Volume 51, Issue 1–2, pp 15–22 | Cite as

Exhibiting the New Mussolinian City: Memories of empire in the World Exhibition of Rome (EUR)

  • Anna Notaro


The aim of this paper is to show how fascist imperialist discourses were articulated in a new urban space, just on the outskirts of Rome, and how they affected its design, use and representation. This new city, which should have been the spatial expression of the regime's political, cultural and economical achievements, since its beginning was conceived almost as a mirror image of classical Rome. As her fascist alter-ego, it was imagined as the modern realisation of the ancient dream of reconnecting Rome to the Mediterranean, of ‘bringing Rome to the sea and the sea to Rome’, as Mussolini used to say. This was a city that had to represent a strong political desire and ended up as an image of mere representation, a city that was founded to contain a world exhibition and became in itself merely an exhibit. Here I am interested not only in the story the EUR (Esposizione Universale di Roma) buildings tell, but also in what they do, according to a performative view of cultural production. In other words, they are not simply new monuments to be added to Fascism's already powerful iconography, but an integral part of those processes of incorporation and rule at work in the construction of Italy's national/imperial identity.

Classical Rome national identity Roman empire urban planning World exhibitions 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Notaro
    • 1
  1. 1.School of American and Canadian StudiesUniversity of NottinghamUniversity Park, NottinghamU.K.

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