April 16, 2009

Mussolini hometown bans Fascist symbols

The hometown of World War II-era Italian dictator Benito Mussolini has banned public display of Fascist symbols and slogans as a tourism-boosting measure.

The Predappio town council voted unanimously Wednesday to ban stores from displaying swastikas, cudgels and Fascist slogans in their windows or other places visible from the street, ANSA reported Thursday.

The council voted to fine violators $660 per offense.

It was an essential decision that aims to give a clear message: an end to the culture of hatred that prevents the city of Predappio from presenting itself to visiting tourists with the right image, city Culture Councilor Gianluca Barravecchia said.

Shop owners said Mussolini memorabilia will still be available for purchase on their Web sites.