Thursday, December 22, 2016


1938/43 Giovanni Guerrini (1887/1972), Ernesto La Padula (1902/68) and Mario Romano (1898/?)
Formerly known as Palazzo della Civiltà Italica (Palace of the Italian Civilization) and popularly known as COLOSSEO QUADRATO (Square Colosseum)
50 m (164 feet) high, 68 m (223 feet) with the base
216 arches with six horizontal rows of nine arches each
It appears that this choice was not random, but it might have hinted at the name (Benito, six letters) and surname (Mussolini, nine letters) of the dictator
The palace expresses an obvious and surreal fascination of metaphysical architecture
“The name of La Padula is linked - as leader of the group with Guerrini and Romano - to the most emblematic building of Fascist Rome, the Palace of the Italian Civilization, which until the eighties of the twentieth century has weighed the prejudice of spurious and disingenuous architects, instilled by Giuseppe Pagano and Gio Ponti, and strengthened by Bruno Zevi, who saw in it a masking of the frame in reinforced concrete and therefore a betrayal of the rationalist dogma of the visual identity of form and structure. (...) In the executive phase the project was changed, both in proportions (from a cube pierced by eight galleries of thirteen overlapping arches to a parallelepiped of six galleries of nine arches, crowned by an attic) and in the internal structure, so as to be essentially disowned by its architects” (Sergio Cortesini - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
Since November 2003, is being restored. At the end of the work it should become the Audiovisual Museum
Under the arches of the ground floor there are twenty-eight statues (one per arc) representing arts and crafts: about 3.40 m (11 feet) high, built in 1942 by eight companies specialized in marble in the provinces of Lucca and Massa Carrara

From the front door to left clockwise:

“Heroism, Music, Handicraft, Political Genius, Social Order, Labor, Agriculture, Philosophy, Commerce, Industry, Archaeology, Astronomy, History, Inventive Genius, Architecture, Law, Primacy of Navigation, Sculpture, Mathematics, Genius of Theatre, Chemistry, Press, Medicine, Geography, Physics, Genius of Poetry, Painting and Military Genius”
On the sides of staircases “Four groups of Dioscuri” by Publio Morbiducci (1889/1963)

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