{ vortex }


Vortex is a region in a fluid or clouds in which the flow revolves around an axis line, such as in a tornado. In my research it is used as a concept providing an analogy for the position of the Vatican in the years leading to the Second World War, particularly after 1929 when the signing of the Lateran Pacts between the Vatican and fascist Italy established diplomatic relationships between the two countries. The pacts included a generous compensation to the Vatican for the territories and properties lost during the unification of Italy some sixty years prior, leading to a building boom in the theocratic state.

What do the building projects initiated in the Vatican just after the signing of the Lateran Pacts tell us about the relationship between the Vatican and fascist Italy? And what do buildings in other parts of the world, such as Ethiopia, Palestine or Slovakia, tell us about the ways in which the Catholic Church benefited from the rise of fascism in Europe and from the temporary realisation of its imperial dream overseas?

Departing from the entrance to the Vatican Museums, designed by architect Giuseppe Momo as a rotunda in shape of an inverted truncated cone, reminiscent of a tornado, with a double helicoidal ramp as if expressing the parallel rise of fascism in Italy and the renewed prestige of the Catholic Church freed from the constrains of secularism, this research aims to investigate the dynamics of a superstorm whose destructive vortex was aimed at liberal democracy and socialism—the common enemies of fascism and the church.


Rado Ištok