Affile

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Affile
Comune
Comune di Affile
(Claudius Ziehr) Affile 0001.jpg
Coat of arms of Affile
Coat of arms
Affile is located in Italy
Affile
Affile
Location of Affile in Italy
Coordinates: 41°53′3″N 13°5′49″E / 41.88417°N 13.09694°E / 41.88417; 13.09694
Country Italy
Region Latium
Province Rome (RM)
Government
 • Mayor Ercole Viri
Area
 • Total 15.0 km2 (5.8 sq mi)
Elevation 684 m (2,244 ft)
Population (2008)[1]
 • Total 1,595
 • Density 110/km2 (280/sq mi)
Demonym Affilani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 00021
Dialing code 0774
Patron saint Santa Felicita
Website Official website

Affile (Latin: Afilae[2]) is a comune (municipality) in the province of Rome in the Italian region Latium, located about 50 kilometres (31 mi) east of Rome.

History[edit]

Archaeology has showed the existence of a pre-Roman centre here, on the border of the lands of the Hernici and the Aequi. In the 1st century AD it is mentioned as oppidum Afile by Frontinus. It was crossed by the Via Sublacense.

In the 10th century a village existed in the former Roman oppidum, centred on the church of St. Peter. In 1013 a castle (castrum) is cited in Affile, which in 1109 was ceded by Pope Paschal II to the Abbey of St. Scholastica of Subiaco. Later it was a possession of the Altieri and Braschi families.

Main sights[edit]

  • Roman cistern. In 999 emperor Otto III founded in the site a church, which had however already disappeared in the 16th century.
  • Church of St. Peter, known from the early 6th century. The last renovation is from the 15th century.
  • Church of St. Mary (known from 1005). It has frescoes from the 13th and 16th-17th centuries.
  • Church of Santa Felicita (13th century)
  • Castrum, site on a different hill of the originary site of Affile around St. Peter's church. It had once numerous towers, gates and massive walls, of which little traces remain.

2012 "homeland" and "honour" monument[edit]

On 11 August 2012 a publicly funded mausoleum and memorial park was unveiled in the town to Rodolfo Graziani, a former resident of the area and convicted war criminal. The event was met with widespread criticism in the national and international media. A campaign has since been launched to rededicate the memorial to those who died as a result of Graziani’s actions during Italy’s colonial wars in Ethiopia and Libya as well as during the short-lived Italian Socialist Republic.

An article in The New York Times[3] article described the monument:

The monument, in a style reminiscent of fascist architecture, sits on the town’s highest hill, with the Italian flag flying from the top and inscriptions reading “Honor” and “Homeland.” Inside sits an austere marble bust of General Graziani, surrounded by original copies of the front pages of the newspapers from the day of his death in 1955, a plaque from a street once dedicated to him here and a list of his deeds and honors.

The mausoleum was reported to cost Euro 127,000[4]], paid for by taxpayers from regional funds. The town’s mayor, Ercole Viri, donated the bust from his own collection[3] and said he hoped the sight would be as “famous and as popular as Predappio” – the burial place of Mussolini which has become a shrine for neo-Fascists.[5] He later defended the council’s decision by stating that “Graziano was not a war criminal”[6]

However, demonstrations against the memorial were quickly organised. On 12 September the monument was damaged and covered in graffiti,.[7]

The monument has also been denounced in Ethiopia. Speaking after the 18th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, historian Bahru Zewde said: "“He [Graziani] is remembered for vowing to deliver Ethiopia to Mussolini “with or without the Ethiopians”. He went on to fulfill that vow with indiscriminate use of chemical weapons and the massacre of thousands of Ethiopians.Graziani was never tried for his war crimes in Africa. Had he been alive, there is no doubt that he would have been forced to face justice at the International Criminal Court. The erection with public funds of a monument for someone who has the blood of so many Africans on his hands is therefore adding insult to injury."[8]

Elsewhere, a protest was held in London on 31 August 2012 outside the Italian Ambassador’s Residence, which was followed by a further demonstration in Washington on 5 November 2012.

References[edit]

  1. ^ All demographics and other statistics: Italian statistical institute Istat.
  2. ^ Richard Talbert, Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, (ISBN 0-691-03169-X), Map 43 & notes.
  3. ^ a b Gaia Pianigiani, "Village’s Tribute Reignites a Debate About Italy’s Fascist Past", "The New York Times", 28 August 2012
  4. ^ "Italy memorial to Fascist hero Graziani sparks row", "BBC", 15 August 2012
  5. ^ Nick Pisa, "Italian town's memorial to Fascist leader sparks row", "The Telegraph", 15 August 2012
  6. ^ Josephine McKenna, "Mayor defends monument to fascist leader convicted of war crimes", "The Telegraph", 2 September 2012
  7. ^ "Affile, chiuso il sacrario di Graziani per ripulirlo E domenica la protesta in piazza degli antifascisti", "La Republica", 22 September 2012
  8. ^ "Scholars denounce Graziani mausoleum", "The Reporter", 1 December 2012

External links[edit]