Benito Mussolini (Predappio 1883 - Giulino di Mezzegra 1945)
History: Politician, journalist, Prime Minister and Italian Dictator. Mussolini occupied an important position within the Italian socialist party and from 1912 was also the editor of the socialist newspaper Avanti. He then became an interventionist and war volunteer; in 1919 he founded the Italian Combat Fasces, which in 1921 became the National Fascist Party and was introduced to the Nation with a radical, nationalist and authoritarian programme. Opposing the radical left wing, he led his political movement to the March on Rome and gained power on the 28th October 1922. After becoming Prime Minister he consolidated the regime, affirming the supremacy of the executive power, by transforming the administrative system and arranging the masses into party organizations. In 1940, trusting in a rapid solution of the conflict, he went to war on the German side. Due to the defeat suffered by the Italian Armed Forces and to the fact that, at the Grand Council of Fascism on the 24th July 1943 he was put in a minority condition, on the 25th July he was arrested by order of the Italian King. Rescued by the Germans and under the total control of Hitler, in order to mitigate the revenging fury of the Allied Forces against Italy, he founded the Italian Social Republic in the Northern territory of country. On the 28th April 1945, while he was trying to reach the territory of Valtellina, he was captured by Italian Partisans and killed.
Painting instructions: The figurine represents a mounted Benito Mussolini while taking part in a parade or a party manifestation. He is wearing the uniform of the Militia Volunteers for the National Security, that is a grey jacket and greyish-green trousers over a black shirt, with the chevron of first honorary corporal of the militia on the right sleeve, represented by an inverted red V on black background, and a thin black line on the upper part of the V, with a golden yellow eagle holding the fasces in its claws . The same is shown on the right side of the fez which is black beaver without a chevron or cord. The fez has a frontal insignia represented by an eagle in golden-yellow purls on red background, and a white feather. The jacket collar has two-pointed black chevrons with small golden fasces. Around the neck, solid golden insignia of the collar of the Annunziata. Brocade yellow parade belt with black centre line and golden buckle. Black dagger sheath with silver eagle’s head and small golden fasces on the white hilt sides, black sling with M and golden buckles. Medals from left: military merit war cross on white/pale blue ribbon, Italo-Austrian War tricolour narrow striped ribbon and silver medal, war volunteer amaranth red ribbon bronze medal, Italian Unity wide striped ribbon and bronze medal. Left badge in white enamel and gold; right badge (Order of the Annunziata) golden with darker rays; pale blue scarf. Brown leather saddle and black saddlecloth with fasces; black boots.
Historical research: Vincenzo De Gaetano
Sculture: Maurizio Bruno