Google Gives Benito Mussolini a Digital Afterlife

Google is uploading thousands of videos of the Italian dictator to its YouTube channel dedicated to Italian history.

Google signed an agreement with the Italian government under which it will post 30,000 videos of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, the Guardian reported on Saturday.

The search engine giant is dedicating a YouTube channel to Italian history, featuring about a third of the video collection of Italy's Istituto Luce-Cinecittà as a part of its effort to digitalize world history and culture.

The Istituto Luce was established in 1924 and quickly became a propaganda tool in the hands of Mussolini. The channel also includes newsreels by Settimana Incom from 1946 to 1964.

"Italy's historic memory is now available to all through the world's most viewed online video channel," the Guardian quoted Rodrigo Cipriani Foresio, president of the Institute was quoted as saying.

The director of the Istituto Luce, Edoardo Ceccuti, told the Guardian that his favorite Mussolini newsreel featured the dictator being hailed in Italy as a peacemaker, much to his annoyance, after a congress in Berlin in 1938.

"On his return he was followed from Rome station to Piazza Venezia by a massive crowd calling him a 'Man of Peace'. They waited five hours before he appeared on his balcony, gave a straight-arm salute and went back in, clearly furious because he did not want to be a man of peace. He said nothing and it was about his most eloquent speech."

Italian dictator and Prime Minister Benito Mussolini on horseback salutes a review of fascists, Italy, October 1927.