Sylvia Diebner

Torre dei Conti during the years 1926-1944

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After external restorations and archaeological explorations of the crypt (where the stoneworks of the exedra belonging to the Forum Pacis were placed), in 1937 the Conti's Tower was inaugurated as headquarters of the Federazione Nazionale Arditi d'Italia (National Federation of Italian Braves), an association that used to represent special shock troops employed during the First World War; its components had supported the Fascist party since its constitution. Alessandro Parisi, multi decorated Ardito and president of the Federation as well, died in 1938 during a car crash. Then Mussolini stated the coffin would be placed in the Tower's crypt, usually destined to the cult of fallen soldiers. The ashes have been deposed in an ancient sarcophagus given to the Duce from the Barberini family, and the surrounding was entirely transformed thanks to a decor that made use of a complex symbolic setup, recovering religious allegories and linking the Braves to the city of Rome and the Savoy Monarchy. From that moment on, the Tower became the sepulcher of a hero and it strengthened as a highly symbolic and representative place along Via dell'Impero.

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