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The indiscreet charm of mystery

When, in the aftermath of Silvio Berlusconi's death, the news arrived that the opening of the will would be a matter of hours, it was immediately clear that something was wrong


This is where the mystery begins, because the news certainly didn't come from the family; to think about the contents of a bequest before one has even given sacred burial to a loved one not only goes against the sense due to human pietas but is worthy of the remote tribal tribes, remaining in French New Guinea. Konrad Lorenz, the father of human ethology, unveiled the aptitude for cannibalism; the voyeuristic morbidity of the outline, prosaically one could call it scavenging!

In the evening came a phone call: “Get comfortable and prepare the popcorn, it's going to be long!”

Memories, in reality clouded, went back to the time of the divorce between Berlusconi and Mrs Veronica, who wanted the empire to be divided equally between her five children, eventually obtaining a 50-50 split between her three and the two of Mrs Dall'Oglio, his first wife.

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Then there is the rule of law and everything should be very clear and simple; yes if your name is Rossi or Bianchi, but if you are the owner of an empire what really counts is not what is in the light of day but all the submerged, which is often much, much more than just residue. See the Agnelli house.

The House of Savoy had Suni, the Advocate's favourite sister, who was able to mediate the appetites of the various hereditary families and above all gave, in part “Cesare quel che avrebbe dovuto essere di Cesare”, promoting and protecting as long as he lived, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo.

The Avvocato's widow, Mirella, had her hands full keeping her daughter Margherita's grievances at bay, precisely on the subject of the underground. A querelle, which after twenty years and the disappearance of donna Caracciolo, is still not over.

One has to take into account that Silvio Berlusconi's empire is made up of economic and political assets. It is hard to imagine that five guys kissed by such affluence could argue over the decimals of an inheritance, and it is by no means certain that this will be the case, despite the voyeurism mentioned above. But in that case Paolo Berlusconi, Silvio's brother and an undiscovered character, is the only one who can play the role that was Suni's for the Agnelli household.

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As far as the political legacy is concerned, the role of great mediator falls to Gianni Letta by lineage, and here we return to the mystery of wills and their contents. Why would Berlusconi have left an acknowledgement to his brother, who certainly did not need it; to Mrs Fascina, who certainly did need it; and out of gratitude to Marcello dell'Utri, without leaving anything to his most loyal and silent right-hand man, Gianni Letta to boot?

Incidentally, Adriano Galliani, Berlusconi's other operative arm, already had a fabulous severance pay of around 40 million euro when he left AC Milan and will soon run in the by-elections in Monza for the Senate seat, replacing the Cavaliere.

To delve into the timing and delivery of the third will and why son Luigi is not mentioned is to invent novel Sherlock Holmes or improbable Freudians and is not a practice that belongs to us.

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More interestingly, so many vultures are circling an alleged treasure trove of some 24,000 works of art, 2,500 of which were acquired through telesales at the Orlando gallery, by the owner's own admission.  Sniffing out a big deal, an attempt is being made to make Berlusconi look like a fool who has acquired more “scabs” in order to reduce the price in the event of a sale by the heirs. A practice in vogue in the 1970s and 1980s. Today there is no appraisal to be made, in defiance of all critics hoping for well-paid advice: just add up all the invoices, accompanied by the legal authentication of the various Foundations, and the value of the capital is immediately revealed.  Accountant Spinelli will take care of this, another custodian of so many silences deprived of a due legacy.

And here we pause, putting away the popcorn and thinking back to Gianni Letta's recent words: “I chose silence because it seemed that many were only celebrating Silvio to celebrate themselves”.




Illustration by Gloria Dozio - Acrimònia Studios