Quake-hit Amatrice sues Charlie Hebdo

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Amatrice. Photo: AFP
16:14 CEST+02:00
Amatrice, the Italian town devastated by last month's deadly earthquake, is suing French weekly Charlie Hebdo for defamation over a series of cartoons about the disaster.

The satirical magazine caused an outcry in Italy by publishing three pasta-themed cartoons on the subject of the quake, including one portraying victims crushed under layers of lasagna.

Injured Italians were compared to other pasta dishes in the drawings, with blood likened to pasta sauce.

"It amounts to a macabre, tactless and inconceivable insult to the victims of a natural catastrophe," the town council's lawyer, Mario Cicchetti, told reporters after the largely symbolic legal move was announced.

Published only days after the quake struck on August 24th, killing nearly 300 people, the cartoons struck a raw nerve, notably prompting Interior Minister Angelino Alfano to say he knew where the authors "could stick their pencils".

The French publication responded with a follow-up cartoon showing a woman crushed under ruins and the caption: "It is not Charlie Hebdo who builds your houses, it is the mafia."

The majority of the earthquake's victims came from Amatrice, where a further 2,500 people were made homeless as a result of the damage to buildings. Work on re-building the town began last week, with robots and drones sent in to assess the extent of damage.

There was no immediate response from the French publication to the suit.

READ MORE: Why quake-hit Amatrice will never be the same again

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Photo: Angela Giuffrida

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