Italy marks 80 years of the Ardeatine massacre with solemn commemorations

Italy commemorated 80th anniversary of one of the most horrific massacres of World War II with solemn ceremonies and the performance of a symphony in honour of the dead.

Riccardo Muti conducted the Italian premiere of William Schuman’s Ninth Symphony, subtitled “Le Fosse Ardeatine,” which the Jewish composer born in New York wrote in 1968 after visiting the Ardeatine Caves in Rome.

There, 335 people were shot dead on March 24, 1944, in retaliation for a partisan attack in which 33 Nazi soldiers were killed on a street in Rome.

On Sunday, the 80th anniversary, he conducted the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra, which he founded and directs, alongside musicians from the Carabinieri orchestra at the Parco della Musica auditorium in Rome.

In other events this year to commemorate the anniversary, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni issued a statement saying that it was necessary to remember “one of the deepest and most painful wounds inflicted on our national community.”

President Sergio Mattarella visited the site, which has now become a monument to the victims. The graves bear the names and, in some cases, their photographs.


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