The Brave New World of Fascist Sperm
Certainly this should be one of the top
priorities of modern science.
Rome (AFP News) - Forensic experts in Italy said Thursday they had reconstructed the DNA of a national war hero and poet by analysing semen he left on a handkerchief given to a lover 100 years ago.
In a global first, the proto-fascist warmonger Gabriele D'Annunzio's DNA was reconstructed without exhuming his remains, forensic police said, raising hopes the technique could be used to solve cold cases.
D'Annunzio (1863-1938) gave the semen-splashed hankie to his lover, Countess Olga Levi Brunner, in 1916 as a souvenir after a night of passion.
Police in Cagliari on Sardinia analysed the handkerchief, a letter the countess had penned to her beau and an ivory toothbrush conserved in the archives of the Vittoriale degli Italiani foundation.
Using a crimescope light they identified splotches of a liquid on the material not visible to the naked eye and compared the DNA results with that of Federico D'Annunzio, the right-wing revolutionary's great grandson.
Foundation chief Giordano Bruno Guerri joked that the experiment might even open the door to the future cloning of historical figures even if their remains have been lost.
"Nobody wants to clone D'Annunzio, but nobody knows what changes will take place in science and society. It's good the DNA has been collected," he said.
In 1919, D'Annunzio seized the city of Fiume, in what is now Croatia, to set up an independent state.
The state, which had a charter that foreshadowed the later Italian fascist system, fell a year later after a bombardment by the Italian navy.
His poems are still studied today in Italian schools.
|Novelist, poet, aviator and proto-Nazi, Gabriele D’Annunzio. |
By his own admission he seduced over 1,000 women.
During World War I (1914–1918), Italy made a pact with the Allies, the Treaty of London (1915), in which it was promised all of the Austrian Littoral, but not the city of Fiume. After the war, at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919, this delineation of territory was confirmed, with Fiume remaining outside of Italian borders, instead joined with adjacent Croatian territories into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.
Gabriele D'Annunzio was angered by what he considered to be handing over of the city of Fiume. On September 12, 1919, he led around 2,600 troops from the Royal Italian Army (the Granatieri di Sardegna), Italian nationalists and irredentists, into a seizure of the city, forcing the withdrawal of the inter-Allied (American, British and French) occupying forces. Their march from Ronchi dei Legionari to Fiume became known as the Impresa di Fiume ("Fiume Exploit").
On the same day, D'Annunzio announced that he had annexed the territory to the Kingdom of Italy. He was enthusiastically welcomed by the Italian population of Fiume.