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CRIME

Florence: Body of woman found in bin bag

The body of a woman was found in a ditch in the outskirts of Florence, Italian media reported on Monday. Police suspect it could be the body of a 43-year-old woman reported missing two months ago.

Florence: Body of woman found in bin bag
Photo: Shutterstock

The body was discovered in a black plastic bin-bag in a ditch filled with water in the neighbourhood of Piagge in the north-west outskirts of the Tuscan city.

According to Corriere della sera the body, which was in advanced stages of decomposition, was dressed in a top and jeans, the style of which enabled investigators to determine the body was that of a woman.

The alarm was raised by a passer-by who saw an arm protruding from the plastic bag, which was torn on one side.

Police suspect it could be the body of 43-year-old Irene Focardi, who disappeared on February 3rd in the same area where she lived with her mother.

During the investigation into Focardi’s disappearance, she was discovered to have had a violent argument with her ex-partner.

Around a year ago he was arrested and convicted for abuse and is currently serving a sentence under house arrest.

However, he has not escaped during this time and has shown no unusual behaviour. He also does not own a car. 

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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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