Mussolini's duds sell for $5.5K at Texas auction

September 19, 2011 - 8:50 AM
Il Duces Duds

In this undated photo provided by Greg Martin Auctions/ Heritage Auctions are personal items claimed to have been owned by Benito Mussolini and Claretta Petacci. The items are scheduled to be auctioned in Dallas Sunday Sept. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Greg Martin Auctions/Heritage Auctions)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — A suitcase and clothing purported to have belonged to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress and obtained by a World War II veteran from western New York have been sold at an auction for more than $5,000.

The Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester reports (http://bit.ly/qx8NTc ) Mussolini's uniform and Claretta Petacci's dress sold for $5,500 during Sunday's auction in Dallas. The auctioneer had estimated the items would fetch $10,000 to $15,000.

The items were put up for auction by the widow of Paul Moriconi, a Rochester-area doctor who acquired the suitcase in the last days of the war, when he was serving in northern Italy. Italian partisans gave the suitcase to his commanding officer after Mussolini and Petacci were captured and executed while trying to flee to Switzerland in April 1945.

Paul Moriconi died last year.

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Information from: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, http://www.democratandchronicle.com