Far from the tourist center of Rome, near the southern end of the Metro B line, there lies a 420-acre complex of ten monumental concrete buildings known as the Esposizione Universale Roma (or EUR). Spearheaded by the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1935, the campus was meant to showcase the glories of totalitarian architecture. The most famous of the buildings is the Palazzo della Civiltà del Lavoro, dubbed the "Square Colosseum," a monolith with hundreds of identical arched loggias on its façade. Now, Italian papers are reporting that EUR's most imposing asset might be sold off to the fashion house Fendi, which already rents part of the fascist-era building.
The city of Rome is facing a cash crisis, and the state-owned firm that administers EUR was further weakened by revelations of a mafia-related corruption scandal in December. The public seems to be divided about the rumored sale of the Square Colosseum, which is an iconic piece of architecture in its own right but is hardly beloved in a city with so many impressive ancient sites. "The Italian state owns way too much heritage; with owning heritage comes vast responsibility," a former director of the British School in Rome told the Guardian. "It needs to concentrate on its priorities, like the real Colosseum."
Rome may sell Square Colosseum to Fendi as city faces cash crisis [Guardian]