COLLEPARDO, Italy – The Italian government is blocking plans by former White House adviser Steve Bannon to set up an academy for future populist political leaders in a medieval monastery in the mountains outside of Rome.
On Friday, Italy's populist government said it was revoking the rights to the property, which were given to the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, an academy affiliated with Bannon.
Italy's culture ministry says the institute has not paid concession fees and failed to do maintenance work on the monastery. It says political considerations are not part of its decision to kick out the academy.
Benjamin Harnwell, the institute's founder, rejects the ministry's claims and says the academy will fight to stay in the monastery.
Opening the academy has been part of Bannon's plans to further spread his nationalist, populist politics across Europe.