DALLAS, Sept. 16 (UPI) — The auctioneers behind the Dallas sale of clothing believed to have belonged to Benito Mussolini and his mistress said the items could fetch $15,000.
Dallas-based Heritage Auctions and San Francisco-based Greg Martin Auctions, the auction houses handling the sale, said the clothing is believed to have been worn by the World War II-era Italian dictator and his mistress, Claretta Petacci, when they were captured while trying to flee Switzerland in April 1945, The Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle reported Thursday.
The clothing items were inside a suitcase presented by members of the partisan resistance movement in 1945 to Army Col. Charles Poletti, and he gave the suitcase to Cpl. Paul Moriconi to dispose of as he saw fit.
Moriconi mailed the suitcase to his mother and kept it in his possession until his death in May 2010.
“If we had a dinner party or friends came over and the topic of conversation came up about World War II, he would bring them out,” said his wife, Regina Moriconi, 63, of Webster, N.Y. “People were amazed. They really were amazed.”