Monday, May 10, 2021

Bannon loses battle to start right-wing academy in Italy – POLITICO

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Steve Bannon, former Breitbart executive and ex-chief strategist to Donald Trump, has lost a legal battle to create a right-wing academy in Italy.

Italy’s Council of State on Monday ruled against the Bannon-backed Dignitas Humanae Institute (DHI) and its attempt to start an academy in an 800-year-old abbey.

The DHI had planned to launch a leadership program targeted at right-wing Catholic activists in the Trisulti Charterhouse in Collepardo, south of Rome, drawing protest from locals. The Italian culture ministry — which owns the abbey — withdrew its license in 2019 over violations of contractual obligations, sparking a series of legal battles.

In a statement following Monday’s decision, Bannon vowed to “appeal and win.” DHI founder Benjamin Harnwell also told Reuters the institute intended to appeal.

The academy was part of Bannon’s — largely unrealized — vision to bring together populists from across Europe and drew interest from prominent far-right figures such as former Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.

“This ruling is not only a victory for the Ministry of Cultural Heritage,” regional councillor Sara Battisti told Corriere Della Sera, “but also for the entire province of Frosinone,” where the abbey is located.

CORRECTION: This article has been updated to correct the spelling of Steve Bannon’s first name.

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