The bronze statue of Il Genio dello Sport by Italo Griselli (1880-1958), which stands outside the Palazzo degli Uffici in EUR, was originally called Il Genio dell' Fascismo.
After the war the figure, who is giving the Fascist salute (il saluto romano), was deftly transformed into a boxer, one who is hailing a victory, by the addition of some bronze straps to his hands and wrists.
The Palazzo degli Uffici was designed by Gaetano Minnucci (1896-1980) and built between 1937 and 1939. It was the first structure to be completed for the Esposizione Universale di Roma, better known simply as EUR, a vast and ambitious project to showcase the achievements of Fascism. It was to have opened for the 1942 World Expo, which Rome was hosting, but this was cancelled on account of the war.
The monumental bas-relief, at the main entrance to the palazzo, is the work of Publio Morbiducci (1889-1963) and depicts La storia di Roma attraverso le opere edilizie (The history of Rome through its building works). Benito Mussolini (1883-1945), Italy's Fascist dictator from 1922 until 1943, appears on horseback at the base of the relief.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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