Rome: A police investigation is underway in Rome after a bust of Guglielmo Marconi, the Italian inventor of the radio, was defaced with spray paint in the central Villa Borghese park on Sunday.
The action has been claimed by a group calling itself Creare è Distruggere (To create is to destroy) in response to Marconi’s links to fascism.
The group filmed the vandalism, carried out by a man who arrived by bicycle, posting a message on social media and leaving a note at the scene, accusing Marconi of being a fascist.
Rome police are analysing footage and text published by the group on the internet as part of a probe into the incident which occurred in the Pincio area in front of onlookers.
Born in Bologna in 1874, Marconi developed and marketed the first successful long-distance wireless telegraph and in 1901 broadcast the first transatlantic radio signal.
Marconi’s connections to the fascist regime continue to be a subject of controversy in Italy today.
He joined the Fascist Party in 1923 and this led him to be given various prestigious public offices including president the Academy of Italy.
Documents unearthed in 2002 suggest that Marconi actively adhered to Mussolini’s anti-Semitic policies by blocking Jewish candidates when he was head of the academy in the early 1930s.
Marconi set up Vatican Radio for Pope Pius XI in 1931 and died in Rome in 1937.