Turin International Book Fair refused a publishing house linked to an Italian neo-fascist group Casa Pound to showcase its books at the annual five-day event in Turin, on Thursday.
The publishing house AltaForte's stand was dismantled ahead of the fair's opening following a request by the local authorities, after the founder Francesco Polacchi was investigated for «apology of fascism».
Polacchi... Еще, who defined himself as a fascist and was due to present a book of interviews with Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, said he would sue Turin International Book Fair: «We do clearly consider this withdrawal unacceptable, so we'll immediately take a legal action against Turin Book Fair. We want to go to court.»
The move was welcomed by writer and Holocaust survivor Halina Birenbaum, who had threatened to boycott the Fair alongside the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum if the publishing company had been included.
Turin Mayor Chiara Appendino defended the move saying it was a political decision made to safeguard the city's history of resistance against fascism, and not a personal attack on Salvini.
«Facing the choice of having Halina (Birenbaum) — who represents anti-fascism and is the latest Auschwitz survivor — outside the Book Fair because she had no intention of entering, and AltaForte inside the Fair, as institutions we took the political responsibility of making a choice. Therefore, we decided which side to take and we chose to stand by the side of who represents anti-fascism and not by the side of who is investigated for an apology of fascism», Appendino added.