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CRIME

Tourist ‘beaten to death’ as he queues for ticket

Commuters watched in horror as a tourist was savagely beaten at Rome’s central Termini station on Wednesday morning as he waited in line to buy a ticket. The 70-year-old Moroccan died from his injuries later that day.

Tourist 'beaten to death' as he queues for ticket
The tourist was killed as he waited in line to buy a ticket at Rome's central Termini station. File Photo: BlindMadDog

Mohamed Laabid, a Moroccan tourist, was attacked while waiting in line to buy a ticket at Rome’s central Termini station, Italian daily Il Messaggero reported.

Unprovoked, the attacker reportedly kicked and punched the 70-year-old tourist, causing internal injuries and brain damage.

The traveller was rushed to the city’s Umberto I hospital but died later that afternoon from his injuries after surgery.

The attacker, identified as 25-year-old Biagio M from the southern region of Campania, was arrested and taken to Rebibbia prison. According to police, he was suffering from a mental illness.

Laabid, who was married with children, had been staying with relatives in the capital, the paper said, and was planning to travel to Venafro, near Rome, to visit the grave of his soldier father who had died in Italy during the Second World War.

Police are now examining CCTV footage and await the result of an autopsy.

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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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