A folding screen presented to Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini by the late industrialist Kishichiro Okura before World War II has come back to Japan to be displayed at a Tokyo hotel after almost 70 years abroad.

A visitor gazes at the folding screen “Araiso,” which was brought back to Japan for display after being on exhibit in Italy for almost 70 years.

The screen, “Araiso” (“Rocky Beach”), painted by Japanese artist Hyakusui Hirafuku (1877-1933), was presented to Mussolini after being displayed at a Rome exhibition of Japanese art organized by Okura in 1930. It depicts a bird on a bare rock against a gold background.

The exhibition, which Hirafuku attended, was organized after Okura had earlier presented Mussolini with a folding screen by the late Japanese artist Taikan Yokoyama.

Following Mussolini’s fall from power, the Hirafuku screen was confiscated and has since been owned by a museum in the city of Brescia, Italy.

“Araiso” will be exhibited at Tokyo’s Hotel Okura, founded by the late industrialist, through Aug. 26 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Japanese art exhibition in Rome.

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