0166 Fascist Italy’s Ossuaries of the First World War: Objects or Symbols?
This paper focuses on Italy’s Fascist ossuaries of the First World War. It is intended to show how a methodology that uses images and texts can expose the political purposes that underpinned the creation of the ossuaries, to contribute to the literature on the commemoration of fallen soldiers, and to advance the study of war monuments as expressions of political forces. The paper also represents an attempt to bridge between different approaches to the study of war monuments that have emerged in history and in visual studies. It examines Italian ossuaries of the Great War as both objects and symbols, or as aesthetic configurations and carriers of political meanings. Physical characteristics, such as those associated with context, space and style, are shown to express elements of Fascist ideology relating, for instance, to hierarchy, victory and power.
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