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article imageMussolini speeches become iTunes hit in Italy

By Chris Dade     Jan 28, 2010 in Entertainment
A collection of speeches by Benito Mussolini, the fascist leader of Italy from 1922 until his execution in 1945, have become the second-most downloaded item on Apple's iTunes website in the country he once ruled.
Created by 25-year-old Luigi Marino, who is from the Southern Italian city of Naples, the collection known simply as iMussolini contains, says the Daily Mail, speeches and video from as early as 1914, with the last speech featured coming from 1938.
Speaking about the application - launched on January 21 and was downloaded just 55 times on the first day but is now averaging 1,000 downloads a day - to Bloomberg News Mr Marino said:It’s a delicate page in our history that should never be forgotten. I’m stunned by the success of the application. I’ve had complaints, but also lots of positive feedback asking me to keep updating
The Telegraph further quotes Mr Marino as saying that it is not his intention to "eulogise" the time during which Mussolini, an ally of Adolf Hitler yet generally regarded as not so extreme in his racial theories as the Nazi leader, led the Italian nation.
However the Telegraph observes that in 1938 Mussolini did bring in laws discriminating against the Jewish community in Italy and along with Bloomberg News it notes that the popularity of Mussolini's speeches on iTunes was coinciding with International Holocaust Remembrance Day (IHRD), held each year since 2006 on January 27.
Reportedly more popular on iTunes than a video based on the film Avatar - the top selling application is that which enables you to see your friends "naked" - the speeches by Mussolini, there are 100 of them available, cost 79 euro cents ($1.11) to download.
The review for the application is said to come with a warning not to "leave comments praising Fascism" - the comments page having now been closed down according to the Daily Mail - such comments being illegal in Italy, along with the Fascist straight-arm Roman salute.
Nevertheless Mussolini remains popular with some in Italy, his home town of Predappio, in the north of the country, being a popular destination with neo-Fascists as that is where Mussolini's mausoleum can be found.
Mussolini souvenirs are allegedly still popular in Italy too, although contrary to what the Telegraph suggests souvenirs of that nature are not available in Predappio, the paper carrying a story in April last year indicating that the town had introduced a ban on the sale of Mussolini memorabilia.
And Mussolini's name lives on in Italian politics today, his 47-year-old granddaughter Alessandra Mussolini being an ally of the government of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
More than one source is reporting that Apple has declined to comment regarding the application that the Italian Communist Party has called "disgraceful" and wants "removed at once".
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