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Should It Matter That Fendi's New Headquarters Is an Icon of Fascist Architecture?

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Italian fashion house Fendi is moving its headquarters to the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in Rome, a move that has drawn some criticism as the building was not only commissioned by Benito Mussolini, it was, as Dezeen puts it, "intended to be the centrepiece of Mussolini's new Roman empire," and has remained an icon of Fascist architecture. This raises a number of interesting debates. Can the building ever really be divorced from its original purpose? Should it be forced to sit vacant? (It is, for the record undeniably an attractive piece of architecture and seems to fit very well with Fendi's overall aesthetic.) "However much the architecture of the era can be interesting and attractive, its values were deeply sick," Owen Hatherley writes for The Architectural Review. "It is right that its architecture remain tainted."

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· Fendi moves headquarters into iconic Mussolini-commissioned building [Dezeen]