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Africa's Italian Job

The Eritrean capital, Asmara, is a showcase of 1930s Italian Art Deco architecture. Initially created by colonial-era Italians, the style flourished into the '60s as local architects carried on the tradition. There was no modernization in Asmara for 30 years as Eritrea fought to regain independence from Ethiopia, and little war damage. So the Expressionist Capitol Cinema remains, along with the Futurist Fiat station, and the Rationalist geometry of the Ministry of Education. 'It's a virtual museum', says Medhane Teklemariam, project coordinator of the government's Heritage Project. UNESCO inscribed the city in its list of World Heritage Sites in July 2017, saying that the city is "an exceptional example of early modernist urbanism".
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