|October 27, 1999|
personal effects found in ministry
(AP) -- Some of
Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini's
personal effects, including the overcoat
he was wearing when he was shot by
partisans in 1945, have been found in a
Treasury Ministry storeroom.
The discovery was reported Wednesday by
an English-language supplement to the
International Herald Tribune
The report said three boxes and a crate
labeled "Objects pertaining to the
ex-Duce" had been languishing in the
cellar since 1953.
The Treasury Ministry vaults were
transferred to the custody of the Bank of
Italy last year and a massive
housecleaning has been under way.
have proven to be a genuine treasure
trove. Bags of gold confiscated during
World War II from Jews in Trieste were
discovered last year and returned to
the Jewish community.
The Mussolini items were some of the
last to be cleared from the vaults and
only the crate has been opened so far. It
contained the overcoat as well as an army
cape and a decorated military collar.
When Italy was liberated by the Allies
at the end of the war, Mussolini tried to
flee in a German convoy.
He was caught by partisans near Lake
Como and shot, along with his mistress, on
April 27, 1945. Their bodies were taken to
Milan and hanged upside down in a public
The Treasury Ministry said Wednesday
that no decision has been made about the
eventual placement of historical material
from the Mussolini boxes. It did not say
when the remaining boxes would be
Copyright 1999 The Associated