Cincinnati, OH

The gift that Italian dictator Mussolini gave to Cincinnati in 1929 was stolen decades later

Anita Durairaj

The Capitoline Wolf Statue was a gift from Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1929 to the city of Cincinnati. The statue represented a she-wolf nursing Romulus and Remus (the twin brothers who founded Rome).

In 1929, the Sons of Italy held a national convention in Cincinnati. Mussolini thought it would be apt to send the statue to Cincinnati. This is because the city of Cincinnati was named after Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, a Roman patrician, who lived from 519 to 430 BC. Cincinnatus served as an example of outstanding leadership in ancient Rome.

The Capitoline Wolf Statue in Cincinnati was just a replica of the original statue located in Rome. However, it was a staple of Eden Park, Cincinnati, and had been displayed in the park since 1931.

The statue had its share of controversy because Mussolini was historically an unpopular leader and a known symbol of fascism. There were quite a few requests for the statue to be removed from the park and it remained a point of contention for Cincinnati government officials.

In June 2022, someone stole parts of the statue. The wolf portion of the statue was stolen when someone cut through its bronze paws.

Cincinnati Police offered a $1000 reward for anyone who could offer information on the stolen statue. Citizens of Cincinnati were equally distressed about the missing statue.

As of August 2022, the Cincinnati Parks Foundation has reported that the Order of the Sons & Daughters of Italy in America had made contact with officials in Rome to recreate and replace the missing statue.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.

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