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CRIME

Italian chef murdered in southern France

French police are investigating the murder of a 30-year-old Italian chef near his home in southern France.

Italian chef murdered in southern France
Police are investigating the murder of an Italian man in southern France. Photo: Phillipe Hugen/AFP

The body of Fabio Bassoli, originally from Rolo in Emilia Romagna, was found on a wooded footpath 12 kilometers from his home in the town of Aubenas by an early-morning jogger nine days ago.

French authorities did not inform Italian authorities or Bassoli's family until Sunday, Il Resto del Carlino reported

Following the discovery of the body, a postmortem examination carried out in Nîmes revealed that Bassoli had been killed by a violent trauma to the back of the head, which he could not possibly have sustained in a fall.

In spite if questioning Bassoli's close friends and associates in France and watching his home in Aubenas, police are struggling to establish who killed him and why.

Initially it was thought that Bassoli had been killed during a botched robbery attempt, but police are now thought to be leaning towards the idea that he was killed by somebody he knew.

Bassoli moved to France a few years ago and operated a vintage food truck that sold Italian food.

His family is still waiting for his body to be sent home so they can lay him to rest, but for the time being it is still under the French power of attorney.

 

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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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