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CRIME

Police fear serial killer in ‘crucifixion’ killing

The naked body of a woman was discovered tied to a horizontal bar under a bridge in Florence on Monday, in what police fear could be the work of a serial killer.

Police fear serial killer in 'crucifixion' killing
Police fear the killing may be linked to a similar case last year. Photo: Rosie Scammell

A cyclist made a gruesome discovery on Monday when he came across the kneeling body of a naked woman taped to a horizontal bar.

The witness described the woman as having “her arms outstretched as if she had been crucified”.

The woman’s body was discovered under a bridge below the A1 motorway in the Ugnano district, on the western outskirts of Florence on the border with the town of Scandicci, the Florentine edition of Corriere della Sera reported on Monday.

The victim, who has not yet been identified, has been described as around 30 years old with white skin.

She was still wearing her shoes and the rest of her clothes were discovered around one kilometre away on the same road, the paper reported.

An initial coroner’s report found no obvious signs of violence.

Police fear the killing may be linked to a similar case last year.

Last March, a 46-year-old female Italian prostitute reported being raped, robbed and tied to a horizontal bar with tape by a client on the same road after being approached by a customer in the northern outskirts of the city.

Police are now working to establish any links between the two cases.  

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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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