Haunting Presences of Rome
EUR (the letters standing for Esposizione Universale Roma ) is now a residential and business district in Rome, Italy, located south of the city centre, made of constructions put up in contemporary styles for use as offices and government buildings, set in large gardens and parks
Originally, in the 1930s, the site was planned to be home to a 1942 World Fair (which never took place due to the Second World War ) on the basis of an initial project presented in 1938 under the direction of the architect Marcello Piacentini.
The idea was to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the March on Rome and of the beginning of the Fascist era, with a complex of structures, whose design combined elements coming from Italian modern rationalism with a monumental architecture inspired by the fascist ideology that fantasized to revive a new imperial Rome.
The Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana (1938–1943), also known as "Colosseo Quadrato" (Square Coliseum), is a symbol of this architectural style, where suggestions coming from Metaphysical art meets with the boastful visions of a reactionary dystopia.
Remains of this visions are still visible in the old edifices and in the tall statues that stand out against their white marble walls, and now and then endeavor to reappear, like haunting presences, in the conflicts of nowadays Italian political and cultural debate, mostly caused by the neo-liberalist Europeanism of the Italian ruling classes.