The Wanganui phone book will no longer have an image of Italian dictator Mussolini on its cover.

The image, a bust of the fascist leader, is part of a montage of items which make up the cover artwork.

Yellow telephone directory have advised the Chronicle it will remove the bust from its cover on the next issue.

A reader who said he was a former English soldier, called the Chronicle and asked if we had fielded other calls about the bust that sits above the 'H' on the 2012/13 white pages cover. It was also on the 2011/12 cover.


He said the bust was that of Mussolini and that it was inappropriate. The work is Italian sculptor Renato Bertelli's 1933 work `Head of Mussolini', and it likens the Italian dictator to a two-faced Janus.

Yellow communications manager Katherine Cornish said it was not something the company was aware of.

'It was not intended to be offensive and we will be removing it from the directory going forward.'

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini, one of the founders of fascism, led Italy from 1930 to 1943. Known as Il Duce, he aligned Italy with Germany during WW2. Replaced as leader in 1943, he was executed by Italian partisans in 1945.