Italy vows full support in heiress murder case

Italy is ready to offer France "maximum collaboration" on solving the disappearance of an heiress in 1977, an Italian prosecutor said Thursday as the murder trial against her lover reached a climax.

Italy vows full support in heiress murder case

"We would offer the maximum collaboration" and launch a full-blown probe should French judicial authorities request Italy's help in cracking the
36-year-old mystery, prosecutor Mario Mercone said.

Italian police searched through archives of murdered women as Maurice Agnelet prepared for a verdict in his trial for allegedly killing his wealthy
mistress Agnes Le Roux in Cassino near Rome nearly four decades ago.

"We are looking back through our archives for anything linked to the case," a police official in Cassino said.

Local media said the police were looking through lists of unidentified women found dead in the area but all the ones found so far have since been

The town is best known for its mediaeval abbey of Monte Cassino on a forested hill overlooking the town and the area was the site of a famous World War II battle.

Agnelet was this week accused by his son of shooting Le Roux, 29, in the head during a camping trip to Cassino, before dumping her naked body.

Le Roux's body was never found and Agnelet, 76, is undergoing his third trial for her murder, which is expected to reach a verdict on Friday.

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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.”


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.”