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Cambridge Heritage Research Centre

PhD title: Difficult Heritage: dealing with Heritage of the Fascist Dictatorship in Contemporary Italy


I am a Classical Archaeologist specialized in Heritage of the Dictatorship. A member of the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre I am finalising my PhD in Fascist Heritage and Italian renegotiation of the Dictatorial Past at the Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge. I hold a MPhil in Heritage Studies from the University of Cambridge and an Honours Degree in Archaeology and Greek and Roman Art History form the Third University of Rome. I am an associate of the Troina Research Project at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and worked on the display of WWII remains in Sicily. I am in the scientific committee of the Robert Capa Museum in Troina. I am currently teaching MPhil students in Heritage Studied at the University of Cambridge Politics of the Past and Dictatorship and Heritage Management.  I gained several years of professional experience in the cultural heritage sector having worked for cultural institutions in Italy, Spain and the UK and she was a fellow at ICCROM in Rome in 2017. I am co-organising in 2018 the international conference on Heritage and Authoritarianism funded by the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge and the international workshop on Fascist and National Socialist Antiquities and Materialities from the Interwar Era to the Present Day generously funded by the DAAD in Cambridge. My research interests are: Fascist material legacies, Fascist uses of the Past, Museums and difficult collections, conflicting memories and post-colonial legacies.


  • Heritage and Memory
  • Museums and difficult collections
  • Post-conflict reconstruction
  • Modern conflict archaeology
  • International Cultural Policies

My interest lies in the intersection between heritage, memory and identity and how they inform each other. My PhD research project looks at the complex process of heritage formation and exclusion in Fascist Italy and how Fascist heritage is perceived today. I am also interested in how politics of the past informed national and international cultural policies, with a primarily interest in Nazi-Fascism and in how museums deal with controversial collections and histories.

I am presently involved in the following research projects in Museums and difficult collections:

  • 2014 -2015: Troina Project (Museum of Antiquity)
  • 2016 -to date: Robert Capa and the Battle of Troina
  • 2016- to date: Documentation Centre for the History of Fascism


Key publications: 
Helen, R., Bartolini, F. and Schmalz (2019) Editorial Introduction: Fascist and National Socialist Antiquities and Materialities from the Interwar Era to the Present Day in Fascism: Special Issue: Helen, R., Bartolini, F. and Schmalz Fascist and National Socialist Antiquities and Materialities from the Interwar Era to the Present Day 8 (2) 121-126.
Helen, R., Bartolini, F. and Schmalz (2019) Fascist and National Socialist Antiquities and Materialities from the Interwar Era to the Present Day, Fascim, special issue, 8 (2) 121-126.
Bartolini, F. (2019) Dealing with contested heritage: Contemporary art and the Fascist monument debate in Göllnitz, M. und/e Millan, M. Geschichte und Region/Storia e regione 28. Jahrgang, 2019, Heft 1, XXVIII, 2019, n.1, 131-137.Studentische Gewalt / Violenza studentesca (1914–1945).

Bartolini, F. (2019)  “Dealing with a Dictatorial past: Fascist monuments and conflicting memory in contemporary Italy” in Macaluso, L. (ed.) Monument Culture, International Perspectives on the Future of Monuments in a Changing World. 233-242. London: Rowman&Littlefield. 

Bartolini, F. (2018) 'From neglect to Museum. Mussolini’s villa in Rome, a Fascist heritage site', in MARTOR The Museum of the Romanian Peasant Anthropology Journal / Revue d'Anthropologie du Musée du Paysan Roumain. 

Bartolini, F. (2018) 'L'esposizione dell'Olocausto all’Imperial War Museum: un'analisi comparativa per una ipotesi di museo sulla storia del fascismo ' proceedings of the conference 'Narrating Fascism', Predappio 29 gennaio 2016.

Bartolini, F., Comer, M., Meharry, J. E., Zoh, M. (2016) 'The Heritage of Displacement: Forced Migration in the Mediterranean through History.' Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 377-81,

Capodiferro A., Bartolini F. (2004) Wonders of the world : masterpieces of architecture from 4000 BC to the present, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2006, ©2004

Teaching and Supervisions


I am involved in the teaching of the following courses:

Heritage Management, MPhil Heritage and Museum: ‘Editing of the Past: Cultural Heritage and Identity construction in a Sicilian town’

Politics of the Past, MPhil Heritage and Museums, Cultural Heritage and Museums of Dictatorship, Renegotiating a Fascist past: Mussolini’s villa from neglect to heritage’

Research supervision: 

Dr. Simon Stoddart

Dr. Paola Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco

Prof. Robert Gordon

Postdoctoral Member, Cambridge Heritage Research Centre
Affiliated Scholar, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Dr Flaminia  Bartolini
Not available for consultancy