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CRIME

Man, 80, ‘stabs sick wife then hangs self’

Police are investigating a suspected homicide-suicide in northern Italy, following the discovery of the bodies of an elderly man and his wife at their home.

Man, 80, 'stabs sick wife then hangs self'
Italian police are investigating the two deaths. Photo: Rosie Scammell

Police in the northern Italian town of Pantigliate, east of Milan, made a grisly discovery when they were called to an apartment block on Tuesday morning.

Following what investigators believe to be a homicide-suicide, the body of an 80-year-old man, identified as Paolo Z., was discovered hanging in a garage at 8.40am in the basement of the housing block. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Inside the man’s apartment, officers then found the body of his wife, covered in stab wounds, on the bathroom floor. A knife, believed to be the murder weapon, was lying near her body.

According to La Repubblica, the man’s wife, Carmen, was seriously ill with Alzheimer’s Disease and had just been discharged from a hospital to which she'd frequently been admitted.

The couple’s son, aged 47, had spent the night at his parent’s house, the paper reported, but had left earlier that morning to go to work.

Although the motive for the killing is still unclear, reports suggest that the husband was shocked and depressed by his wife’s illness.

The alarm was raised after a neighbour reported seeing the shadow of a hanging body through a window.

This is the second tragic case of this kind to hit Italian headlines in recent months.

In January Giancarlo Bocciarelli, 76, shot himself after killing his wife in a clinic in Paderno Dugnano, Lombardy, where his wife Anna, 79, was recovering from a stroke.

Bocciarelli was said to have been bewildered by his wife’s illness and "uneasy" over the Christmas period, according to Repubblica. 

READ MORE: Pensioner kills himself after shooting sick wife

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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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