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Italy condemns ‘cowardly’ knife attack in French city of Nice

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte condemned the attack that left three dead at a church in the southern French city of Nice on Thursday morning.

Italy condemns 'cowardly' knife attack in French city of Nice
French police and firefighters secure the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice following the attack on Thursday morning. Photo: AFP
“The cowardly attack… will not shake the common front defending the values of freedom and peace,” Conte posted on Twitter.
 
“Our convictions are stronger than fanaticism, hatred and terror.”
 
 
Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio also condemned the attack and voiced support for France.
 
“Italy expresses profound condolences for the barbarous Nice attack,” Di Maio tweeted. “We are close to the French people and to the pain of the families of the victims.”
 
“Italy repudiates all forms of extremism and remains at France's side in the fight against terrorism and all violent radicalism”.
 

French terrorism prosecutors opened an investigation after the attack at a church in the southern French city of Nice left at least three dead and several people injured.

 
 
The attack took place at the Notre-Dame church in the southern city of Nice around 9am on Thursday morning.
 
Local police detained the suspected attacker quickly after the event, Mayor Christian Estrosi said.
 
French terror prosecutors later confirmed that a terror probe had been opened following the knife attack.

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CRIME

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

Prosecutors in New York on Tuesday returned dozens of antiquities stolen from Italy and valued at around $19 million, some of which were found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

“These 58 pieces represent thousands of years of rich history, yet traffickers throughout Italy utilized looters to steal these items and to line their own pockets,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, noting that it was the third such repatriation in nine months.

“For far too long, they have sat in museums, homes, and galleries that had no rightful claim to their ownership,” he said at a ceremony attended by Italian diplomats and law enforcement officials.

The stolen items had been sold to Michael Steinhardt, one of the world’s leading collectors of ancient art, the DA’s office said, adding that he had been slapped with a “first-of-its-kind lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities.”

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Among the recovered treasures, which in some cases were sold to “unwitting collectors and museums,” were a marble head of the Greek goddess Athena from 200 B.C.E. and a drinking cup dating back to 470 B.C.E, officials said.

The pieces were stolen at the behest of four men who “all led highly lucrative criminal enterprises – often in competition with one another – where they would use local looters to raid archaeological sites throughout Italy, many of which were insufficiently guarded,” the DA’s office said.

One of them, Pasquale Camera, was “a regional crime boss who organized thefts from museums and churches as early as the 1960s. He then began purchasing stolen artifacts from local looters and sold them to antiquities dealers,” it added.

It said that this year alone, the DA’s office has “returned nearly 300 antiquities valued at over $66 million to 12 countries.”

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