The Italian Almanac

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Italian News - November 7

A toilet which flushes to the musical accompaniment of Italy's national anthem was the center of attention at a court hearing here called to determine whether the device was an offense to the nation.

The object was the work of two local artists and had been on display at the Bolzano Museum of Modern Art until it was impounded several days ago. Lawyers for the museum argued that the object should not have been seized because the anthem, while having patriotic and sentimental value, was not an official symbol of the nation.

The prosecution, on the other hand, presented excerpts from speechs by former president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi who highlighted the patriotic nature of the song. The prosecution also cited a decree issued this year by the ex-government of Silvio Berlusconi which defined the national anthem as an emblem of the state.

The judge said he would make his ruling in the coming days.