|Comune di Affile|
Coat of arms
Location of Affile in Italy
|Metropolitan city||Rome (RM)|
|• Mayor||Ercole Viri|
|• Total||15.11 km2 (5.83 sq mi)|
|Elevation||684 m (2,244 ft)|
(30 April 2017)
|• Density||100/km2 (260/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Patron saint||Santa Felicita|
Archaeology has shown the existence of a pre-Roman centre here, on the border of the lands of the Hernici and the Aequi. In the 1st century AD it is mentioned as oppidum Afile by Frontinus. It was crossed by the Via Sublacense.
In the 10th century a village existed in the former Roman oppidum, centred on the church of St. Peter. In 1013 a castle (castrum) is cited in Affile, which in 1109 was ceded by Pope Paschal II to the Abbey of St. Scholastica of Subiaco. Later it was a possession of the Altieri and Braschi families.
On 11 August 2012 a publicly funded mausoleum and memorial park was unveiled in the town to Rodolfo Graziani, a former resident of the area and convicted war criminal. The event was met with widespread criticism in the national and international media. A campaign has since been launched to rededicate the memorial to those who died as a result of Graziani’s actions during Italy’s colonial wars in Ethiopia and Libya as well as during the short-lived Italian Social Republic.
An article in The New York Times article described the monument:
The monument, in a style reminiscent of fascist architecture, sits on the town’s highest hill, with the Italian flag flying from the top and inscriptions reading “Honor” and “Homeland.” Inside sits an austere marble bust of General Graziani, surrounded by original copies of the front pages of the newspapers from the day of his death in 1955, a plaque from a street once dedicated to him here and a list of his deeds and honors.
The mausoleum was reported to cost Euro 127,000, paid for by taxpayers from regional funds. The town’s mayor, Ercole Viri, donated the bust from his own collection and said he hoped the sight would be as “famous and as popular as Predappio” – the burial place of Mussolini which has become a shrine for neo-Fascists. He later defended the council’s decision by stating that “Graziano was not a war criminal”
However, demonstrations against the memorial were quickly organised. On 12 September the monument was damaged and covered in graffiti,.
The monument has also been denounced in Ethiopia. Speaking after the 18th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, historian Bahru Zewde said: "“He [Graziani] is remembered for vowing to deliver Ethiopia to Mussolini “with or without the Ethiopians”. He went on to fulfill that vow with indiscriminate use of chemical weapons and the massacre of thousands of Ethiopians. Graziani was never tried for his war crimes in Africa. Had he been alive, there is no doubt that he would have been forced to face justice at the International Criminal Court. The erection with public funds of a monument for someone who has the blood of so many Africans on his hands is therefore adding insult to injury."
Elsewhere, a protest was held in London on 31 August 2012 outside the Italian Ambassador’s Residence, which was followed by a further demonstration in Washington on 5 November 2012.