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The Fascist World’s Expo

The World’s Fair that never happened began in 1936 when the Fascist Italian government was selected to host the Exhibition in Rome in 1941 (a year after the close of the New York fair). The Exhibition was soon postponed to 1942 to celebrate the anniversary of Mussolini’s faltering Fascist regime. The area chosen for the exhibition was some three miles south of the walls, near the river and the road to Ostia. The architect Marcello Piacentini was asked to not only build the temporary pavilions required by the Exhibition, but to coordinate the development of a new quarter of Rome. Piacentini, who designed the new Railway Station of Florence, was tasked with creating permanent buildings in a new quarter known as E.U.R., the acronym of Esposizione Universale Roma. A current exhibit at Museo dell’Ara Pacis in Rome presents the Fascist origins and current life of this historical environ.

All images from the catalog for Esposizione Universale Roma, Una Citta Nuova dal fascismo agli anni ’60.

Giorgio Quaroni, 1937.

Palazzo della Civilta Italiana photo by A. Cartoni.

R. Corlini, 1941 for Lottery. From Massimo & Sonia Cirulli Archive, New York.

Giovanni Guerrini, 1940. From Massimo & Sonia Cirulli Archive, New York.

Luigi Moretti and Carles Buigas, 1939 (top) and 1940 (bottom) from Massimo & Sonia Cirulli Archive, New York.

Giorgio Quaroni, 1941 (Remind anyone of St. Louis?). From Massimo & Sonia Cirulli Archive, New York.

Adolfo Bussi, 1941. From Massimo & Sonia Cirulli Archive, New York.

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